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It's "Bouna Time" In New York

HARRISON, N.J. -- “Bouna Time”, the catchphrase of New York Red Bull goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, is an expression of two meanings for RBNY supporters; its been exclaimed after the Senegalese’s countless outstanding saves or snidely quipped when those few howlers illustrate Coundoul’s erraticism.

Tonight, unluckily for the Kansas City Wizards with their playoff aspirations on the line, the heroic Coundoul and his fantastic athleticism defended the Red Bulls’ goal. Jetting through the air to deny long-range efforts, snatching crosses amidst traffic, sprinting off his line to clear any danger that seeped through his back four, Coundoul was prepared for anything the Wizards conjured.

The always-candid Hans Backe, head coach of the New York Red Bulls, opened his post-match statement on the Red Bulls by saying, “Bouna Coundoul saved us.”

The Red Bulls did not deserve their fourteenth victory of the season in a match dominated for stretches by the Wizards. An early goal by Dane Richards, his fourth in five games, was the difference on the night, but the one-nil scoreline cloaks the multitude of opportunities for both teams to find the match’s second goal.

“The chances we created were quality. We just didn’t have the finishing touch,” said Kansas City Wizards manager Peter Vermes, upbeat despite the crucial loss.

Coundoul who recorded twelve saves, also saw a staggering fourteen whiz past his frame. Kansas City aligned in a 4-5-1 that consisted of four attacking players, Teal Bunbury placed in front of Kei Kamara, Davy Arnaud, and Josh Wolff, were able to find passageways through the Red Bull backline for most of the match. When those chances materialized though, every finish was imprecise, blocked by a lunging NY defender, or gobbled up by Coundoul.

“Twenty-six shots, 12 on goal. He (Bouna Coundoul) was the difference in the game for sure,” said Vermes.

Rafa Marquez, scratched just before the opening kickoff, was a notable absence from New York’s midfield. In the second half when the Red Bulls needed a calm presence to unite the side, the defense was completely segmented from the attack. The Red Bulls would either create an opportunity or have the Wizards return, charging down their throat.

“He’s very, very composed on the ball,” said Backe. “He’s very precise and he can open up the game when you are under pressure.”

With a clear advantage, the Wizards were disappointed that they weren’t able to capitalize on their dangerous play. During the second-half, Kansas City had long periods where they were flooding the home club’s penalty area. Coundoul simply had a plug for every time the Red Bull defense cracked.

“It’s disappointing for us,” said KC captain Davy Arnaud. “It’s frustrating because we put so mauch into the game. I felt like we were on top the whole game.”

The Red Bulls, despite their poor display, clinched a playoff spot and climbed over the Columbus Crew, who drew with the San Jose Earthquakes, for the lead in the Eastern Conference. Backe was pleased to finally be first, after chasing the Crew for months, but realized that his side was not up to standard.

“It’s three points, we’re top of the Eastern Conference,” said the Swede. “But when we look at Columbus away and this game, I have no answer as to why we played like this.”

The loss seriously dented the likelihood of a playoff appearance for the Wizards who must make up 7 points to reach the Earthquakes for the final postseason birth. Vermes acknowledged the predicament, but was positive about the coming matches.

“We gotta win. We can do it. I feel good about our performance,” said Vermes. “Guys are angry. We know that we should have gotten a point.”

Josh Wolff, one of the Wizards attackers stoned by Coundoul, reiterated his coach’s sentiment.

“I think its pretty clear,” said the American. “Everyone knew this had to be something that we got points out of. Without coming away with anything, the next four, definitely, we have to go after three points.”

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