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Played
April 30, 2011 7:30 PM EDT
Red Bull Arena — Harrison, New Jersey
Referee:‬ A. Chapin‎
Attendance:‬ 20636‎
 
21′ Luke Rodgers
 

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Sporting Kansas City: Rogers tallies again in home victory

The Red Bulls returned to the top of the Eastern Conference table with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Kansas City.

By Avery Raimondo

Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls
Getty
HARRISON, N.J. – After destroying Eastern Conference rival D.C. United at their home, the New York Red Bulls returned to Red Bull Arena and an attendance of 20,636 to host Sporting Kansas City. The result of the match, a 1-0 victory for New York, was not as dominating as those against D.C. or the San Jose Earthquakes a fortnight ago, but the outcome allowed New York to regain first-place in the East after the Philadelphia Union won earlier in the day. 

Luke Rodgers, the English striker formerly of Notts County, scored the match’s winner in the 22nd minute, a nice follow-up to the two-goal performance against the ‘Quakes that saw him win MLS Player of the Week. The finish absolved Designated Player Rafael Márquez whose 13th minute penalty was saved relatively easily by Kansas City’s spry goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The remainder of the match was comprised of a few dangerous opportunities by New York before Kansas City, following some substitutions, even out the play in the second half. Despite the improvements in the final 45, Sporting was unable to ever truly trouble Bouna Coundoul who enjoyed a comfortable evening in net during his side’s victory.

First Half

The Red Bulls controlled the night’s opening ten minutes, but did display the same fluid passing as they did during their previous two matches. Dwayne De Rosario (or Andrew Chapin, the head official, to those fans tuning in from Missouri) gave New York a fantastic chance to take the lead when Stéphane Auvray tugged him in the box. De Rosario, who received the ball from a nice layoff from Thierry Henry, went to ground when he felt the contact. Márquez, though, was not able to convert his penalty after Nielsen read his hesitation and saved the Mexican’s attempt.


The Red Bulls were able to finally take advantage of their superior play when Kansas City went into a momentary lull after a foul on Dane Richards. Instantly Márquez played a firm pass to the feet of Henry who flicked one-touch to De Rosario on the wing. The Canadian found a streaking Rodgers who powered his finish past a sprawling Nielsen.

Rodgers has become known in MLS for both his intelligent movement and his apparent interest in stirring some conflict with opponents. A brief scrum ensued when Rodgers followed a ball bobbled by Nielsen. The goalscorer made contact to the Danish keeper’s face before Kansas City’s players came to protect their teammate. Rodgers was administered a caution for his part in the mêlée.

New York continued their attacking pressure on the SKC goal, but Nielsen was prepared for any Red Bull strike. In the 39th minute, Julio Cesar gave away a pass in front of his penalty area that De Rosario collected before bending a shot on goal. Nielsen stretched and tipped the chance out of play. Rafa Márquez then swung the ensuing corner to the Tim Ream, but Nielsen blocked the defender’s powerful header.

Second Half

The second half began with three introductions; the Red Bulls the injured duo of Teemu Tainio and Rogers with Carl Robinson and Juan Agudelo while C.J. Sapong made way for Ryan Smith in the Kansas City eleven. With Tainio off the pitch, the Red Bulls lost a significant influence in the middle of the park. Smith, on the hand, injected Sporting with a dribbler who took on the Red Bull backline.

The evening’s final 45 minutes were bereft of too truly threatening opportunities for either side, but Kansas City did maintain a better attacking presence. In the 61st minute, for instance, Tim Ream attempted to clear a Kei Kamara cross, but his flicked header was directed towards an onrushing Graham Zusi who just barely volleyed over Coundoul’s goal-frame.

Stoppage time was the most interesting period of the middling second period which included Mehdi Ballouchy being booked for simulation after falling in the Sporting penalty area. Kansas City’s final opportunity to equalize came when Smith ‘scissored’ down to the Red Bull byline. His cross, though, was gobbled up by Coundoul and Chapin whistled to signal a RBNY victory.

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New York Red Bulls

23
Bouna Coundoul
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
Rafa Márquez
Midfielder
 - 
7
R. Miller
Defender
 - 
5
Tim Ream
Defender
 - 
-
Jan Gunnar Solli
Midfielder
 - 
28
Teemu Tainio
Midfielder
41′ 46′
 - 
14
Dwayne De Rosario
Midfielder
79′
 - 
-
Joel Lindpere
Midfielder
 - 
14
Thierry Henry
Striker
 - 
19
Luke Rodgers
Striker
21′ 31′ 46′
 - 
-
Dane Richards
Midfielder
 - 

Sporting Kansas City

 - 
1
Jimmy Nielsen
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
78
 - 
3
 - 
-
 - 
8
Davy Arnaud
Midfielder
 - 
8
Graham Zusi
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
10
 - 
-
Kei Kamara
Striker
 - 
17

Substitutes

-
Greg Sutton
Goalkeeper
 - 
22
 - 
4
 - 
-
Carl Robinson
Midfielder
46′
 - 
14
 - 
16
J. Agudelo
Striker
46′
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
18
Eric Kronberg
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
Matt Besler
Defender
 - 
4
Kevin Ellis
Defender
 - 
-
Ryan Smith
Midfielder
46′
 - 
-
R. Espinoza
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
1
Craig Rocastle
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Dominic Dwyer Dominic Dwyer
Striker
Sporting KC
4 1