Pearce game winner helps cap Red Bulls rally, keeps RBNY unbeaten at home

HeathPearce (Getty)

With the final minutes of the first half ticking away on Sunday night, the New York Red Bulls looked like they just might suffer their first loss at Red Bull Arena this year. Two early goals by the Portland Timbers had the Red Bulls on the ropes and looking ripe for defeat.

The Red Bulls had other ideas.

Goals from Kenny Cooper and Tim Cahill just before halftime erased Portland's 2-0 lead, then Heath Pearce provided the capper, heading home the game-winning goal in the 85th minute to give the Red Bulls a 3-2 victory.

Bright Dike and Darlington Nagbe opened the scoring for Portland off assists from Sal Zizzo, but the two-goal lead wasn't enough against a stacked Red Bulls attack. Cooper started the comeback by heading home a Jan Gunnar Solli cross in the 42nd minute. Tim Cahill equalized just three minutes later when he pounced on a redirected Dax McCarty shot and fired it home to make the score 2-2.

Pearce delivered the winner when Solli curled in a cross into the penalty area that Pearce skied up to head past Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

The win pulled New York to within two points of Sporting Kansas City atop the Eastern Conference before the two teams embark on a stretch of three meetings in the next seven weeks. The victory improved New York's record at Red Bull Arena to 9-0-3, and marked the first time the Red Bulls had come back to win after trailing by two goals in almost eight years.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Red Bulls' comeback? See New York winning the Eastern Conference?

Share your thoughts below.

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36 Responses to Pearce game winner helps cap Red Bulls rally, keeps RBNY unbeaten at home

  1. Jeff says:

    Oh yeah, beating Portland 3-2 makes me think they are definitely winning the Eastern Conference

  2. Troy says:

    Slow defense for the red bulls tonight. Luckily Gaudett picked up the slack and Portland missed some doozies, otherwise that game could have been ugly.

  3. BBNY says:

    incorrect. we were looking for “New York will win the East because RBA is an absolute fortress. Try again, hater.

  4. Jeff says:

    Oh I see realism is now “hater”. Cheerleader

  5. bizzy says:

    Sal Zizzo….Just like Adu (U-23 teammates), when he’s on HE IS ON, but has a problem with consistency. Really fun to watch him play…..

  6. Ben says:

    How does (arguably) the biggest Yanks Abroad story of the day go unmentioned? Bradley not only starts for Roma in its final friendly before the start of the season, but goes 90 and scores a goal?

  7. 19561 says:

    Red bulls very lucky behind grat goalkeeping.
    Career night for Bill Gaudette. Sure Portland could have finished a lot better on the 3 1v1 but great stops by Gaudette.
    Portland – where was this team the rest of the year?

    For the 2nd rb goal – I think that was a clear hand ball on Portland . On the replay it sounded like the ref blew the whistle. Did he allow the goal instead of calling a pk and issuing a red card?
    Also was there a 2nd handball on Portland in the 2nd half?

  8. alceste says:

    On 2nd RB goal, I think the preceding blocked shot may have been off of a Red Bull hand the way the Timber players reacted (we were slightly blocked off from our seats so could not quite tell).

    And no mention of Miller in the article. Both conceded goals involved moves down his side. Team looked better once he was off (and cooper was on) in the 35th minute.

  9. bcoug says:

    Wouldn’t have been a red-card since there is no way it could have viewed as intentional. Regardless, once the whistle is blown he doesn’t have the option of waiving anything off – play should be stopped, by rule.
    It happened so quickly that the whistle likely made no difference to whether Ricketts would have stopped the shot, and the other option was a penalty kick, which likely goes in as well. However, it’s not an option for the official to just make up his own rules in the middle of the match – he blows the whistle, play must stop.

  10. ben in el cajon says:

    Well, it was in a preseason friendly against Aris Thessaloniki, which I had to look up in Wikipedia. It’s evidently a mid-table team in the mighty Greek league, although they did make the Europa League knock-out stage in 2010-11, and they have their own radio station.

  11. NE REVS says:

    Why is MLS and NYRB declining to post this game’s attendance?

  12. NE REVS says:

    They great Frebby Abu played for Aris. So did Eddie Johnson.

  13. Annoyed says:

    Why are you not criticizing Houston for its half-empty stadium last night? Or RFK? So sick of this hate against Red Bull for its weak attendance. And don’t say it’s bc you want to point out why NYC doesn’t deserve a team. That argument is not based on a knowledge of the NY area and how Jersey for some might as well be Kansas. Plus I saw the attendance numbers somewhere.

  14. Sabella says:

    To win championships you need to know how to win ugly. The Red Bulls certainly won ugly last night. Fact is, they should have lost by two or three goals. Gaudette made 3 one on one saves to keep them alive. As usual, McCarty was both the engine and the calming influence in the midfield. He is having one heck of a season. Lastly, Henry continues to lambast his teammates when they don’t send him the ball or don’t do so in a manner he deems satisfactory. I have to believe he is creating a inhibiting environment on the field.

  15. Nave says:

    I wish SBI would ban you and all of the other people like you who call everyone who disagrees with you a hater. Why don’t you try learning proper use of the English language?

  16. Rabid RBNY says:

    Just might be the most important 3 points of the season considering the timing and thanks to Philly and the Crew. It’s August and the top two teams in East play each other 3 times. Both are in a tight race for the SS. Classic!

  17. TheBody says:

    Jeff’s comment was troll worthy at best though. Even in a winning effort, with an unblemished home record (best in the league), Metro still isn’t good enough for some people.

    Can’t wait to read the comments about RBA attendance, or other things that don’t have anything to do with the play on the field. New York is obviously a good team as evidenced by their record and position in the standings.

  18. TheBody says:

    And your point is?

  19. TheBody says:

    You obviously haven’t been to RBA, the attendance numbers aren’t the dirty little secret.

    It’s the support that the fans that show up do give. Could be the best home field advantage in the league. TV doesn’t do it justice, that Arena is intimidating as hell.

  20. 19561 says:

    Off a Timbers guy. Sorta trapped btw his body and his outstretched arm. They were made because the whistle blew but ref allowed the goal.

    Agree with you bcoug – whistle = play stoppage. The Ref didn’t seem to know that rule though. As for a red card – on replay it didn’t look intentional but that took about 4 replays for me to see.

  21. JD in FL says:

    To me, Pierce has looked good. Like he’s settled down as a professional. Is he worth another USMNT call-up? Our defense is improving, but it can’t hurt to increase our depth. Thoughts?

  22. john.q says:

    too bad Cahill’s first MLS goal was a wtf moment for the ref.

  23. Mark says:


    Neither team played that well, though both took the few good chances they were able to generate save Gaudette’s heroics in stopping several excellent opportunities for Portland.

  24. Mark says:

    The problem is he probably won’t get a shot on the International level as a center back, and he rarely plays left back these days, though with Miller’s performance, perhaps he slides out to the left and Conde manning the middle with the Swede. A good stretch run at left back and maybe he gets into January camp.

  25. georkt says:

    Spot on my friend. RBA is loud and it rocks. The South Ward is brilliant and last night the entire arena was roaring. A tip of the hat to the Timber’s fans as well.

    Attendance announced at 19,000 and if you’re from the metro area and missed the match it’s your loss. It was the most exciting game so far at RBA. Not so much for coaches though.

  26. drew11 says:

    Was that Horst taking corners for Portland? What a moron Wilkinson is.

  27. slowleftarm says:

    In addition to the reliably awful Miller, Connor Lade was pretty poor last night. He looks good in midfield but hasn’t looked like he’s able to play fullback at this level. Hoping that Barklage comes back soon at RB and Pearce slides out to the left. Holgersson was frequently out of position as well.

    Luckily, NYRB had enough going forward to eke out the three points but it will be hard to win MLS without a significant improvement at the back.

  28. John says:

    It’s funny how Miller is made the scapegoat all the time. Yes, he was out of position on the first goal, but so was Pierce, the other back playing on the left side. Pierce jogged back, never making an attempt to get involved (usually what Marquez gets sh*t for), and Dax was covering no one, leaving Dike to tap it in. On the second goal, Peirce got toasted. And he constantly shied away from hard tackles all night.
    But it’s always Miller’s fault??

  29. Brain Guy says:

    Agree that neither Pearce nor McCarty (who was covering a patch of grass instead of the goal scorer) covered themselves in glory on the first goal, but Miller got caught way too far upfield, failed to recognize he was out of position, and then only loped back to try to cover his mistake. When even Hans Backe is moved to make a first-half substitution, you know you’re having a bad night.

  30. NE REVS says:

    I like to know what the attendance was for each game. I didn’t really have a point.

  31. NE REVS says:

    I was wondering about the Houston game too but was waiting to comment on that game’s post.

  32. NE REVS says:

    Well MLS still hasn’t posted the attendance # as of right now. I’m just curious to know how many tickets they sold as I am for every MLS game.

  33. Troy says:

    Right but Miller is consistently bad. Pierce and Dax mess up but make up for it with excellent play. Miller sucks and still starts – I don’t get it.

  34. georkt says:

    Per RBA attendance last night was 19,043. Sorry, I was off by 43 fans.

  35. Brian says:

    No, it was Sal Zizzo. What a moron drew11 is.

  36. NE REVS says:

    That’s a quality website there. Now I know where to go if MLS is being slow to post the #s.