HARRISON, N.J. -- A crowd of 18,814, boosted by a special for youth soccer clubs, enjoyed a great game from the home side in balmy 87 degree weather at kick off.
Chivas USA were without playmaker Sacha Kljestan, as he is rumored to be on his way to Anderlecht in Belgium. Dan Kennedy replaced the suspended Zach Thornton in goal as Martin Vasquez opted to start in a 4-5-1 with Maykel Galindo pushed out wide left.
Hans Backe gave Tony Tchani his first start replacing the injured Dane Richards. Carlos Mendes returned after his red card suspension to give veteran Mike Petke an early mid-season break.
The Red Bulls managed a few early attacks with Tchani getting a good look, but the Chivas USA five-man midfield pressed the Red Bulls and did not allow them to maintain possession for long.
For the second game in a row, New York was forced into an early injury substitution with Sinisa Ubiparipovic replaced by Roy Miller in the 12th minute.
In the same sequence, Bouna Coundoul was undercut after he came out hard to attack a corner. While Coundoul was still down the ball came to Ben Zemanski who controlled it with his chest and hit a dipping volley before the ball touched the ground. The volley beat Coundoul but ricocheted off the cross bar.
Within a minute Juan Pablo Angel was attacking at the other end. Angel collapsed in the box after going shoulder-to-shoulder with Dario Delgado but referee Terry Vaughn waved him off.
Chivas reverted to a 4-4-2 and it nearly paid off. Justin Braun found some space on the left wing and after beating Chris Albright he found Michael Lahoud open on the far post. Lahoud laid it back to Marcelo Saragosa, but his shot went high.
Only minutes later the Red Bulls recreated the play off a broken corner with Seth Stammler hitting a hard shot just high.
In the 25th minute the Red Bulls showed their passing prowess. Angel collected the ball at the top left of the box and dribbled to the middle before laying it back into the path of Lindpere breaking into the left side of the box. Lindpere bundled the ball to a wide open John Wolyniec at the penalty spot, but by the time he controlled it he was closed down and his shot was blocked.
Only two minutes later, Seth Stammler made up for an earlier miss on another broken corner by firing in a left footed bullet from 25 yards out. After a long corner was headed straight up by Juan Pablo Angel, the ball was cleared to Stammler outside the box. He took one touch away from an oncoming defender and unleashed a low driven shot to the lower left corner.
After the goal, the pace of the game slowed with most of the attacks lacking a final pass.
Maykel Galindo put the Red Bulls on notice three minutes into the second half. After beating Chris Albright down the left wing, he hesitated a moment and then burned by Carlos Mendes down the endline. Bouna came out to close him down but Galindo skipped past the Red Bulls 'keeper and must have felt he had guaranteed himself a goal before Tim Ream lunged in to block the shot.
In the 54th, Ben Zemanski tested Coundoul again. Zemanski collected a clearance, ducked past Roy Miller and hit a low shot towards the far post. The Senegalese goalkeeper got a hand to it and collected the rebound.
Despite the Red Bulls controlling most of the possession, it was Chivas that continued to create the better chances. In the 61st minute the introduction of El Salvadorean Osael Romero at left wing for Chivas USA prompted Hans Backe to swap Tchani for Lindpere so the Estonian could provide defensive cover for Chris Albright against.
Chivas USA got lucky with only yellows after two bad tackles from Zemanski and Romero. Either tackle could have been considered reds from a stricter referee as Zemanski came in hard on Stammler with his trailing leg and Romero launched a two-footed studs-up tackle on Albright.
The controversy continued in the 81st minute after Dario Delgado turned the ball into his own net with Angel on his back. The assistant referee flagged for offside but it was unclear whether it was on Angel or substitute Salou Ibrahim. Ibrahim was positioned on the other side of the goal and out of the play.
The sluggish second half was epitomized by the Red Bulls last substitution as Mike Petke replaced captain Juan Pablo Angel.
For more from Goal.com contributor Terence Steed, follow him on Twitter @Steed19
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