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  • October 9, 2010
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
  • Referee: J. Marrufo
  • • Attendance: 20829
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 New York Red Bulls 0-0 Real Salt Lake: Hard Battle Results in Draw

New York Red Bulls 0-0 Real Salt Lake: Hard Battle Results in Draw

HARRISON, N.J. - - It took a couple goal posts, a very strong performance from Tim Ream and a great save from New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton to keep Real Salt Lake from stealing the points, despite the Red Bulls controlling the bulk of the possession. A crowd of 20,829 enjoyed a sunny afternoon of soccer featuring two quality MLS sides in a physical encounter. With both teams having clinched a playoff spot they could have simply passed it around for ninety minutes, but once the whistle blew it was clear neither team was going to hold back.

Jason Kreis opted for Andy Williams at right midfield and brought Robbie Findley back into the starting XI.

Rafa Marquez returned after missing last week with a knee sprain. The Red Bulls experimented with their formation in the absence of Dane Richards, moving Joel Lindpere to the right wing and putting Thierry Henry high on the left wing. Mehdi Ballouchy filled the space behind Juan Pablo Angel.

First Half


Thierry Henry enjoyed the freedom from his new position and he nearly set up Ballouchy after he beat Robbie Russell and Jamison Olave, but the Moroccan’s looping volley from the top of the box was well-saved by Nick Rimando.

Real Salt Lake nearly opened the scoring in the ninth minute after Andy Williams picked up the ball in midfield and lobbed it over the Red Bulls back line to Robbie Findley. Findley collected in the box and laid it back to Williams, who cut around Carlos Mendes and fired a right footed shot off the far post.

The Red Bulls were gifted a great opportunity in the 17th minute. Chris Albright was given space on the right wing and picked out a wide open Mehdi Ballouchy at the penalty mark. Despite having all the time in the world, Ballouchy headed a tame effort wide of the near post.

Real Salt Lake rattled the post again in the 25th minute. After Tchani fouled Findley on the right wing, the subsequent free kick came back out to the top of the box where Robbie Russell took a touch and fired a shot through traffic and off the upright.

The first half ended in a flurry of action. Real Salt created a chance in the 43rd minute after absorbing an extended spell of Red Bulls possession. Kyle Beckerman hit a perfect pass between Tim Ream and Roy Miller to Alvaro Sabario, but just as the Costa Rican was about to shoot, Miller clipped his foot, bringing him down inches outside the box.

The referee’s decision to place the ball outside the box, but the decision to give Miller a yellow when he clearly interrupted a goal scoring opportunity is another story. The normally deadly Javier Morales was thwarted on his free kick when his footing gave way.

The game got ugly after the controversial call resulting in several yellows and several questionable non-calls. The Red Bulls got their own free kick opportunity in stoppage time after another non-call frustrated Will Johnson enough to foul Joel Lindpere just outside the box. Rafa Marquez’s attempt deflected off the wall to Juan Pablo Angel. Angel juggled the ball and fired a volley straight into Olave’s arm, but the assistant referee failed to signal for a penalty.



Second Half


Real Salt Lake opened the half with much more of the possession, but it was the home side that should have scored after Thierry Henry’s cross found Juan Pablo Angel at the penalty, but the Colombian failed to direct his header anywhere near goal.

Real Salt Lake fell asleep in the 62nd minute nearly gifting a goal to Marquez. The Mexican found Ballouchy with his back to goal and then sprinted past him into the box. Ballouchy opted to play the ball back to Tony Tchani, who chipped it over the RSL back line to Marquez. Neither Tony Beltran nor Nat Borchers had the opportunity but not the conviction to clear the ball allowing Marquez clear in on Rimando’s goal, but he failed to connect on his volley.

In the 69th minute the Red Bulls engineered a good chance through some superb one-touch passing.  First, Marquez found Angel coming back to receive the ball. The Colombian back-heeled the ball out of the air to Ballouchy, who laid it off to Henry, who in turn found Roy Miller streaking down the left wing. Angel made a great run through the middle of the box and got on the end of the Costa Rican’s cross, but his glancing header looped over the cross bar.

RSL substitute Paul Araujo, Jr. nearly made a big impact in the 75th minute after replacing Robbie Findley. Andy Williams found the Brazilian at the top corner of the box with only Chris Albright to defend. Paulo slowly dribbled to his left before cutting back and squeezing a shot between Albright and Mendes, but Sutton got down quickly to collect.

Sutton was tested again in the 82nd minute after Morales got a second chance to score from a free kick. Morales bent the ball perfectly over the wall into the upper right corner of the goal, but Sutton laid out and got a hand to preserve the tie. The ball ran wide and was crossed back in while Sutton was still recovering, but Tim Ream was on hand to head the ball up and over from his own goal line with Saborio on his back.

The Red Bulls continued to press as the game came to a close, even throwing on young striker Juan Agudelo for his MLS debut, but the Red Bulls failed to test Rimando any further.

For mostly soccer related nonsense from Terence Steed, follow him on Twitter @Steed19

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