Rapids vs. Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary


The New York Red Bulls are at home tonight, hoping to snap their recent funk and hoping to turn around a season that is slowly becoming another nightmare for a snakebit franchise.

In comes the Colorado Rapids, enjoying a solid season and hoping to keep up the success against the Red Bulls they enjoyed last year, when they swept both meetings.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so feel free to follow along here. If you will be watching, you are more than welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action:


FINAL– Rapids 3, Red Bulls 2. The funk continues and the Red Bulls play another game where they had their moments, but had too many bad ones to come away with a point, let alone victory. This team shoots itself in the foot more than any Red Bulls/Metros team I can remember. The 1999 team was just flat awful. This Red Bulls team is nowhere near as bad as this record, but it just isn't doing enough to win.

Here's one thought I'll leave folks with. The Rapids are now in second place in the West while the REd Bulls are in last place in the East. The difference between these teams? Conor Casey is finishing his chances and Juan Pablo Angel is not. If Angel was playing like the 2007 Angel, the Red Bulls would be doing much better than they are now. Then again, if Alfredo Pacheco wasn't good for one goal-inducing blunder a game, the Red Bulls would also have many more points than they do now.


92nd minute– Kandji with a chance, but turns it on his left and mis-hits one. That was probably it.


91st minute– Wolyniec chested one down and for a second it looked like he might conjure up some magic. Not this time.


90th minute– The Red Bulls attack did enough tonight, but the defense laid the egg, letting Conor Casey torch them yet again.


89th minute– Four minutes of stoppage time.


87th minute– John Wolyniec is on for Seth Stammler. Can he provide some more late-game magic?


86th minute– Greg Dalby has replaced Omar Cummings and Colorado has moved into a 4-5-1. They will look to hold on to this lead.


85th minute– Given Casey's form this season you have to wonder when or if he'll get a national team look. A Gold Cup roster spot might not be that far-fetched an idea at this rate.


83rd minute– Clock is ticking. Rapids are controlling things now. Where will a Red Bulls chance come from?


81st minute– Terry Cooke comes on for Scott Palguta. LaBrocca drops to right back, Ihemelu to centerback and Harvey to left back.


80th minute– The Rapids midfield has to be one of the more underrated units in the league. They've done a great job today.


77th minute– Angel sails the free kick over.


76th minute– Kandji draws another free kick. The Rapids can't handle the Kandji Man.


74th minute– Angel with the hard free kick that Pickens spills. Borman does well to finish it. Red Bulls look inspired right now. Can they pull it off?


72nd minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!!!! Borman on the rebound tap-in. Rapids 3, Red Bulls 2.


71st minute– Yellow on Harvey for grabbing Kandji. Free kick from about 32 yards away.


69th minute– Stammler MISSED a wide-open header in front of goal. Wow.


68th minute– Red Bulls in a 3-5-2 now. Will we see some magic from Kandji now? And Angel has been largely invisible since that early-game chance he had saved.

12,039 in the house tonight. Not a bad looking crowd actually.


65th minute– Danleigh Borman is coming on. Might we see Kandji move up top now? I'd say it's time.


63rd minute– Two goals down, will the Red Bulls fall apart, or show some heart? How they respond could determine whether this season gets 1999 ugly, or if there will be some reason for hope beyond this game.


59th minute- GOAL RAPIDS!!! Mehdi Ballouchy converts it. Rapids 3, Red Bulls 1.

The penalty was called on Celades on a foul on Cummings. The foul was legit, but it was at the top corner of the area. Not sure about that one.


58th minute– PENALTY. Rapids get one. Questionable call.


56th minute– Sassano is on for Pacheco.


54th minute– The game has lost its rhythm and the Red Bulls are struggling to find the ball. They need some possession to settle things down.


48th minute- GOAL RAPIDS!!!!! And it's COnor Casey again. He's abused the Red Bulls one more time. Just awful defending there. Rapids 2, REd Bulls 1.


HALFTIME– Red Bulls 1, Rapids 1. Red Bulls had the better sequences up until the Rapids goal, then things slowed down.


45th minute– The Red Bulls finally get some luck going their way. The call was a good one, but you were wondering what would get the Red Bulls out of this funk.

Back to Richards, that was a very quick and quality turn on Gibbs by him and you can see why Osorio wanted to use him up top. Gibbs and Harvey can't deal with his quickness.


45th minute– GOAL RED BULL!!!!! Juan Pablo Angel with the converted PK down the middle. Red Bulls 1, Rapids 1.


43rd minute– PENALTY!!! Gibbs takes down Richards in the penalty area. Great turn by Richards on that one.


39th minute– Casey misses with a header by inches. Pacheco was in no-man's land. 2008 Gabriel Cichero=2009 Alfredo Pacheco. There, I said it.


37th minute– The game has slowed down now and the Rapids have started to keep numbers back.


34th minute– Red Bulls are doing too much one on one and getting away from the ball movement of the early part of the game.


30th minute– Rapids corner. Celades and Stammler have struggled lately to get the ball. No possession in the last few minutes for the Red Bulls.


26th minute– Who would have thought that Red Bulls fans would be looking forward to Pacheco's international call-up?

Now we will see how the Red Bulls respond having to chase the game. Colorado isn't exactly known for holding leads.


25th minute- GOAL CASEY!!!!! Damn, sorry folks, didn't mean to drop the SBI jinx again. Pacheco gets toasted again. Rapids 1, Red Bulls 0.


23rd minute– Who will score first here? Red Bulls have been better in the attack, but the Rapids look VERY dangerous on the counter. Casey has that look like he is going to find a goal tonight.


21st minute– Kandji makes some great move but has it knocked away for a corner. Nothing comes of that one. Kandji is going to score or create a goal.


20th minute– Ubiparipovic with a careless turnover leading to a Rapids corner. Colorado is so good at getting the ball out to its wingers.


17th minute– Mastroeni is still shadowing Celades. The Red Bulls need to find Kandji, who is looking to exploit the gaps in the Rapids back-line. He's got the speed to do it, but needs some service.


16th minute– Drinking games tonight: Kandji stepovers/backheels, Cummings offside and Dane Richards turnovers.


13th minute– Richards with a bicycle kick off a defender's face. A very entertaining game so far.


12th minute– Rapids with a second straight corner.


10th minute– The Rapids have finally figured out that Mastroeni should probably keep track of Kandji rather than Celades.


10th minute– Richards drops a pass off, but there's nobody making a run.


9th minute– The Red Bulls must be aware of Cummings, who is the ey to Colorad's counterattack.


8th minute– Ihmelu is being deployed at right back, with Harvey in central defense. Kandji is finding gaps to make his runs and Colorado has yet to address that situation.


8th minute– Rapids corner.

Red Bulls are finding chances and will continue to find chances against this Rapids defense. They just need to actually convert one.


5th minute– Kandji just showed by Osorio likes him behind the strikers, unfortunately for Kandji, he started his run about 30 yards too far back and ran out of gas.


4th minute– Casey turns Goldthwaite but can't get the ball past Conway. That is going to be a great battle all night.


2nd minute– Angel has GOT to finish that chance. Promising from Pacheco early on.


1st minute– Angel shot SAVED by Pickens, a clear look by Angel but he can't beat the keeper. 46 seconds in.


1st minute– And we're off.


PRE-GAME- No surprises in the Rapids starting lineup;








PRE-GAME- Yes, that is Mac Kandji in a playmaking role. That's what I've been told we will see tonight. I'm sure it will move around a bunch if it isn't working, but Kandji did look good playing behind the strikers late in the match vs. Chicago.


PRE-GAME– Here is the Red Bulls starting lineup:







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64 Responses to Rapids vs. Red Bulls: Match Night Commentary

  1. SCNewJersey says:

    Well, he does wear #10?… Disaster coming

  2. Braden says:

    So, is anyone else worried about what the Rapids are going to do to Pacheco and Hall without support from a winger? I can see Casey licking his lips.

  3. Igor says:

    So, um, no width at all, eh???

  4. Nick says:

    In the games I’ve seen, the rapids attacked down the wings a lot.

    This starting 11 confuses me.

  5. Frog says:

    let the tinkering continue…

  6. Braden says:

    Does anyone think that Kandji’s good enough in the midfield to outplay Mastroeni? I’m really befuddled by this lineup. The Rapids are weakest at left and right back, but we don’t have wingers who are capable of exploiting them.

  7. RealPSL says:

    Someone should tell Matt Pickens that hairy goalkeepers don’t make the National Team.

  8. Czar says:

    Stammler and Goldthwaite looks solid so far.

  9. RealPSL says:

    I guess that answers the who scores first question.

  10. kawa says:

    not blaming Conway, No one was watching the striker that is just crazy , no one paying attention to the most dangers attacker in mls this season on a cross lol.

  11. kawa says:

    The midfeilders play like a bunch of punks with not gut , they are playing a whole lot of wide and back passes a, no penetration into the middle of the park. i hate this brand of soccer, is it Osorio’s plan or is it just the players lacking any skill and will a attack and open up this game.

  12. kawa says:

    Pacheco is useless lol, this is just sad .

  13. peter says:

    Conor Casey deserves a start for the national team.

  14. Czar says:

    Pacheco is killing us.
    He could give up a goal at any time.

  15. Allegre says:

    This is NOT ….. the beautiful game!

  16. peter says:

    terrible call

  17. peter says:

    ives what about the tackle, it was hardly a clear cut penalty.

  18. RealPSL says:

    Harry from Harry and the Henderson’s almost saved that PK.

  19. Braden says:

    I’d say Gibbs got the ball on that penalty, but it was close. In many ways, that’s the first bit of luck that Red Bulls have had this year. They were outplayed throughout the second part of the half but still managed to tie it. Maybe Osorio will wise up and put some pressure on the Rapids down the wings.

    I’m cautiously optimistic…

  20. peter says:

    he got the ball and then the man, so no penalty in my opinion.

  21. kawa says:

    We can attack the wings Braden , we have no one to cross it except hall and he cannot come too far forward with Ballouchy and Clark both speedy to content with .

  22. Braden says:

    By the way, I have to disagree with Ives. Richards has been terrible with his back to the goal. He’s a born winger and it’s a crime against nature to play him as a second striker, especially when you have Kandji who’s equally capable of making those types of turns but also has the finishing ability. Let’s see some Kandji/Angel magic! Dump Sinisa, put in Borman, move Richards to the wing.

  23. RealPSL says:

    Casey makes the Gold Cup Team! Pacheco likes watching the game more than he likes playing. He could see better from the bench.

  24. dena says:

    If this is how we’re playing at home, I can’t wait to see how we look when 7/9 of our next games are on the road.

  25. Czar says:

    Miracles don’t happen for the Red Bulls.
    I don’t see a way back.

  26. Roberto says:

    @Real PSL;what the matter wit chu? The hair is cool!! What do you want for the Natl team? the short cut look with gel and the spikes I Hate that stupid look!!!! It’s the bush era look! the yuppy Hoboken look… I absolutely hate it, pickens; don’t listen!! You look cool you look like an argentine

  27. Never First says:

    I’m watching the DC game along with this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, a penalty called in this match is even worse than the one given to McBride.

    Officials are determined to ruin this season.

  28. Braden says:

    Fire Osorio…

    And here’s why:

    1) Every goal scored by the Rapids originated from the wings, which is probably because we played most of the game without true wingers to cover our backs. Boy, that seems stupid considering the skill of LaBrocca, Clark, and Conor. What coach could have possibly thought that was a good idea?

    2) Thinking it through at halftime, Osorio decides he doesn’t change anything, despite being outplayed for most of the half. And then Rapids scored at the start of the second half… go figure.

    3) We finally see Kandji and Angel up top with Richards on the wing and, wow, we actually look like we could turn it around! But, too late.

    I agree with Ives, we shouldn’t be too hard on the team, because they’ve got a lot of potential. We should be absolutely furious with the coach.

  29. Haig says:

    Wow, you love to lie Martha.

  30. sholata says:

    Ives is dead wrong. The difference between the Raids and the Red Bulls is NOT Casey at bat. The difference is one team has a professional coach. the Red Bulls are talent challenged and have no team chemistry. O sorry O has a problem because he not only is supposed to coach this team but he hand picked the lot of them. This team couldn’t beat Philadelphia and they dont even have a full squad yet.

  31. kpugs says:

    Of course I knew this was coming–that time of 2009 when I finally had to admit how much of a fluke last season was.

    Still, it doesn’t feel good. At all. Especially since I truly did expect it to come. Somehow that makes it worse.

  32. Tom says:

    Possibly the worst officiated MLS game I have seen.

    This takes nothing away from the awful play by the Red Bulls and decisions by Osorio.

  33. Tilt215 says:

    dont worry guys, ives will come on and tell us all how great o sorry o is. i mean the mast tactician must have had it right putting sassano in the game right? Did he even touch the ball? And putting woly in in the 87th minute, I mean just brilliant right? Oh and dane richards starting, brilliant. I mean he only blew every chance with the ball he had all night and all season for that matter. But o sorry o is brilliant right ives?

  34. Neumannator says:

    I have followed MLS long enough to know that it only takes a brief winning streak to get back into it, but can anyone actually foresee this team doing that?

    Anyone want to place odds on RBNY making the play-offs?

  35. Will Smith says:

    I’ve been a fan since 1996. This is the most aggravating season ever, even worse than 1999. In ’99, we were just bad. Now we’re good enough to win, but aren’t. A few thoughts:

    1) Play a man marking defense going forward. The zonal is working.

    2) Richards is a great track star, but not a soccer player. Wide mids need to be able to cross.

    3) Bic Mac is a forward. He shouldn’t be in the midfield. Coupling a struggling JPA with a limited Richards while Big Mac is in the midfield is insane.

    4) The # of goals we allow early & late in halves are astounding. That shows a lack of concentration & that’s a coaching issue.

    5) We’ll be on the road next week & I bet you we’ll go back to the one forward formation with JPA up top even though that hasn’t worked yet. Continuing to do something that clearly doesn’t work is just lunacy.

    I don’t see anyway out of this mess this year. If we win 7 games, I’ll be amazed. We’ll be competitive in all of them, but we’ll lose week after week.

    Very frustrating. I find myself counting down the days till the end of the season just to jet it over with. That’s a first for me.

    Terrible. Just terrible. This team, over 14 years, has done more to harm MLS, than any other team in the league.

    The question isn’t “how come RBNY only draws 12,000 on a lovely spring evening?” The question is “how did they eve find 12,000 people willing to attend the game???”

  36. Will Smith says:

    One other thought. Every time I see Borman, he makes decent passes, takes decent corners, manages to cross the ball, tracks back on defense & is alert enough to pounce on loose balls (leading to a goal tonight, for example.)

    This poor guy is on a developmental salary. Pietrevallo makes $192 on the bench, Smith makes $100K on the bench, Rojas makes $92 on the bench with fouls & Richards makes $80K to run track events.

    Not only should Borman be raised from the poverty level, he should be starting.

  37. Livin the Dream says:

    Red Bulls suck, I mean they are bad and always seem to disappoint, but they will always give you some hope ala Altidore, Playoff Run, etc that will suck you in to believing they are turning a corner in the right direction…and that like a partner who endures spousal abuse, is why I love them…I still wake up every morning to my dead end job, jump on that train, look at that new stadium progressing and think good things are coming and things will change for the better… Sure I’ve thought of Houston Orange or Cloumbus Yellow and Black Checkers, would love them if they went checkers…but screw them and the whole NE/DC…I’m a freakin Metrostar/RedBull for life!!

    Other notes:
    Ives put American Voice with a Jersey Flavor back up man. Jersey guys are a special type of ameri-can. Why else would someone live in a place where if you are asking what town they are from, you always follow-up with “what exit?”

    So Columbus’s GK just got slide tackled in the face. Oh and Gaven scored. I miss him too.

  38. kofix5 says:

    Whats more lame? RedBulls players or their so-called fans that make lame-ass comments on SBI?
    You guys are depressing

  39. Will Smith says:

    My typo. Should read:

    “1) Play a man marking defense going forward. The zonal is NOT working.”

  40. RobStyles says:

    This is plain disgusting now! Pacheco is starting to become this year’s Cichero, WTF!?! I cannot imagine why this team has not used their 2nd DP slot yet.

  41. Will Smith says:

    I don’t see how JCO keeps his job. It’s a mystery to me.

  42. kofix5 says:

    I thought Kandji played well in the playmakers roll tonight. He was effective and controlled his space. The defense was frustrated and started knocking him down, giving us free kicks. Not a bad night for him and it will be interesting to see him grow into that position.

  43. Matt says:

    We suck.

  44. kofix5 says:

    You suck

  45. Matt says:

    OK we’re great kofix5, does that make you feel better?

    What color is the sky in your world? I pay for my season ticket and travel a long way to watch this train wreck of a team play. So do many others. We’re entitled to our opinions. Sorry to bum you out.

  46. GunneRR says:

    Will Smith @ 11:17 — Brilliantly said.

    kpugs @ 10:37 — Last year wasn’t a fluke. Remember? NYRB were a sub-.500 team that backed into the playoffs. The fluke was the ONE playoff game at Houston. And then we lost our best player in DVB.

    I expected more from this team, but all we get are more overrated players from abroad, indecisive goalkeeping and very questionable coaching. Even with the tickets in hand and paid-for, it’s hard to drag myself to Giants Stadium these days.

  47. rpb says:

    Osario has gotten it all wrong! His tactics and signings are nightmarish at this point in the season. Richards as a 2nd forward c’mon!!! Time to fire him and pursue Donodoni as manager – Let Williams be interim for the remainder of the season,

  48. madmax says:

    Interesting note that both Angel and Ljungberg were extremely poor on free kicks, Ljungberg much worse. I feel the coaches need to take some blame for allowing them to take them all game.

  49. tim says:

    And Ives last point loses alot of its strength now that Colorado is now 4th in the West. Probably should have waited a few hours before making that comparison eh.

  50. aristotle says:

    Thank goodness NYRB got rid of Bruce Arena. That guy was bad news!

  51. TommyH says:

    Dane Richards is horrible. Sassano is supposed to impact the offense? This season is just awful. When do thet pull thee plug on this guy?
    Did I see Pickens in a GEICO commercial?

  52. Andy Bernard says:

    Scott Palguta was pure class last night

  53. Paul says:

    Perhaps the only good thing abou the mess that is the 2009 season is that it will not sully the new stadium. Here’s to a fresh start in 2010, with a new home and a new coach.

    Sad to be talking this way in May, but there you go.

  54. JoeW says:

    1. I think the problem with playing a 4-5-1 (anticipating road tactics) is it really requires that you have a couple of guys in midfield (van den Bergh is a brilliant example) who can take advantage of the few opportunities that come up in that formation to hit a killer service that a normally efficient finisher like Angel will kill. This team doesn’t have that (unless Celedes plays less of a d/holding mid role the rest of the year and can stay on the field–even then, he’s just one player).

    2. The team is (it’s obvious now) not well put together. Not all foreign acquisitions will work out–Pacheco may still turn out okay and was worth a shot. But the effort to assemble a track team was a fiasco. And Kandji should be put on the frontline next to Angel and kept there unless injury or cards takes him out. Here’s the deal: Angel clearly isn’t in-form, he’s had injury issues ever since coming to the league (no surprise there–I’m not saying he’s brittle, only that he’s over 30 and is playing at the Meadowlands). Good, effective forwards have confidence. If Angel has to sit, who’s the player on the frontline that becomes the player who KNOWS he’s going to score? Wolyniec is a fine reserve, I don’t think using Richards against some teams as a second forward is necessarily a disaster. But bouncing Kandji around (central mid, outside mid, some forward) gets him minutes but not a clear role and doesn’t help give him a goal-scorer’s arrogance and confidence that he’ll need if Angel isn’t on the field.

    3. I really believed this season that the East would be significantly stronger than the West. I didn’t think TFC would be as good as some folks felt (ie: I never felt they were a contender to win the East). I had no idea how DCU would do though I felt they wouldn’t be last or next to last in the East.

    But given how some of the Western teams are doing (I both thought Colorado and Seattle would be weaker), I wouldn’t be surprised if 5 teams from the West make the playoffs. Right now, you have to be impressed by Seattle, Chivas, Colorado, and Houston and if RSL ever gets their mojo back (basically, a goal scorer to go with Findley), they could be the 5th team.

    For RBNY, it’s easy to say “we’re only 7 points out of a playoff spot–that’s 2 wins and a tie!” But given that about 40% of MLS matches have ended up in draws this year, it looks like it’s incredibly difficult to make up 7 points. In RBNY’s favor, they play 2 matches against FCD, 1 against San Jose, 1 against LAG–all of those are weaker teams. But it’s not as if they have a slew of home games left (I believe it’s split 7-7) and the last 10 games involves a bunch of teams (KC, Columbus, RSL, Colorado, NE) that will likely either be fighting hard to make the playoffs or not assured of a #1 or #2 seed and in playoff position (ie: Chivas) but not in a position to coast and rest starters. In short–a very tough last 10 games to try and makeup ground.

  55. kebzach says:

    Soccer By Ives: now even more restrictive on comments! New and improved, one step short of communism!

  56. Ben! says:

    Ives, your Colorado sloppiness continues. Palguata and Gibbs played centerback, Harvey and Ihemelu were left and right backs respectively.

    I don’t know much about your team and you don’t know much about mine. The difference, I don’t write the preeminent soccer blog in the country.

  57. Ives says:

    Kebzach, classless comments and comments posted purely to incite other readers (trolling as it were) will be removed. That’s not a new thing and isn’t going to change.

    And, Ben, give me a break with my “Colorado sloppiness”, early in the game I saw Harvey in what looked like a central defense position with Palguta on the left. Palguta has played left back in his career so it didn’t seem that far-fetched to me. I flip-flopped two defenders, settle down. Spare me the “You don’t know the Rapids” nonsense.

  58. Mastro says:

    Mateschitz owner of RBNY and his Managing Director Erik Stover GODFATHER JC OSORIO……shame for NJ-NY FANS.
    Will see after Thursday game against DC, WHAT HAPPENS….LOl this is a joke OSORIO COACHING STYLE, very lucky was Chicago without him. ALWAYS METROS PICKUP WHAT REST DON’T WANT HAHAHAAAAA

  59. Will Smith says:

    Angel’s free kicks looked like he was trying out for the NY Giants. He was terrible last night & has been all season. Sure, his service hasn’t been great, but even when he’s gotten service, he’s been terrible.

  60. Stone says:

    No more. No more season tickets for me. They’re too expensive to watch children play at half time and high school players during actual play. Red Bulls are just pathetic.

  61. Will Smith says:

    Any of the kids playing at half time showed a better a touch than Richards did.

  62. Stone says:

    +1 Will Smith. I used to like to watch football…still do I suppose, but just not the gameplay that I see week after week from the Red Bulls.

    I know the refs leave a little to be desired, to say the least, but are fouls really the only way we’re going to be able to win? How many times does Richards have to raise his hands in the air while looking at the ref, hoping to get a foul called in his favor? Just play ball already!

    Our guys are out there staring at the ball more often than trying to actually get to it. And if they do get to it, they kick it as hard as they can…anywhere really, it doesn’t seem to matter as long as they get rid of the thing. Kick it anywhere and hope that someone gets to it. They really do look like the little kids at halftime out there.

    And we all wonder why soccer is not a more popular sport in this country. There are more people that come to see their kids at halftime than come to see the Red Bulls. Its not a sport, its a daycare service.

  63. ALEX says:



  64. inkedAG says:

    I’m not gonna state the obvious about Osorio and his lineups and signings…