Red Bull New York: the Artists Formerly Known as….
After a slightly tepid, cautious win against RSL on Wednesday night at the Arena, the boys took the short trip over the river to Yankee Stadium to rattle NYCFC’s cage a bit. And that they did. Outside of the first 15-20 minutes, the Bulls were the better squad in all aspects, with the second half being their masterpiece. A nice little offensive outburst and a solid defensive showing from local boy Matt Miazga, along with a goal and some beautiful trolling with his celebration:
Suffice it to say, if you’re an NYC soccer fan, you caught this match and if you’re a supporter of the good guys, you’re smiling like an idiot all day today
On to the ratings for the boys who showed that NY is Red!
Squad and Ratings:
GK Luis Robles – 7.5 – Stellar. Not much he could do on McNamara’s opener, as he hit that quite sweetly and Luis was unsighted until the last second. Made an IMMENSE stop on Poku late in the match, which should be a shoo-in for MLS’ Save of the Week. Vocal, intense and calming, exactly what you want from a keeper in a hotly contested matchup like this.
D Kemar Lawrence – 7.5 – This kid just goes from strength to strength. After a performance at Copa America that has writers and pundits heaping praise on him, he comes back and plays back-to-back almost flawless matches. Uses his speed very astutely, but showed that he’s not content to just be a speed-merchant, he picks his head up and is intelligent with the ball at his feet as well.
D Ronald Zubar (SUBBED) – 5.5 – Played 45 solid-ish minutes, and was subbed off again with an injury. Marsch says it’s something to do with his quad, but we’ll see exactly what the severity is soon. Fingers crossed it’s not as serious, or as lengthy of a layoff, as his earlier injury problems this year.
D Matt Miazga – 8 – My Man of the Match for the derby. Miazga was hands-down the best defender on the pitch, and even chipped in with the Bulls’ third of the match. Bonus points for the cheeky celebration as well!
David Villa probably had no idea who Miazga was at kickoff, but after 90 minutes of being inside his pocket, Villa surely knows who the kid is now as well as his favored brand of underwear! Rumors abound that representatives from Roma, Leipzig, Stuttgart, and a few other big European clubs were there on Sunday to watch RBNY’s homegrown product, so enjoy his play while you can!
He seems like a great young man and I couldn’t be happier for him, he’s always putting his all into every minute for us – he got his rewards last night. Other RBNY strikers, take note, get into dangerous positions, follow the ball, and you could be hoovering up the chances in front of goal. His movement was akin to a seasoned poacher’s, a la Filippo Inzaghi!
M Felipe – 6.5 – Again, solid, yet unspectacular. The one thing I’ll harp on with regards to Felipe is his lackluster service on corners, or any set piece to be honest. While we don’t necessarily have a ton of aerial targets to aim for on corners, Marsch seems to have put together a nice little array of intricate set plays. Couple this with Felipe’s inability to strike a ball into a dangerous area and our set piece threat is minimal to nonexistent. We still have two more matches to come in a short stretch, and I for one would like to see Felipe take a breather while Sean Davis gets some more playing time.
M Dax McCarty – 7 – To be fair, I don’t believe anyone on the field had a poor match, but Dax’s play was a bit underwhelming for me. I didn’t see a ton going forward from him, but his defensive cover was solid, workman-like. I’m sure that won’t bother him one bit. A common football-ism used by commentators across the world goes to that if you don’t have to mention a defender’s name much throughout a match, they’ve done their job. I like to believe that’s exactly what Dax did yesterday; he came to work, brought his hard hat and lunch pail and did the work he was there to do.
M Sacha Kljestan – 7 – His best match in a Red Bull uniform by far. Seems he likes to get motivated for the NYC derby matches as his last high-water mark was the derby fixturenat home. His first half was a bit predictable, operating almost exclusively on the left-hand side, but once Marsch delivered his halftime speech, likely laden with expletives and vitriol, Kljestan’s distribution and decision-making were much better. Served in a delicious ball for Miazga to finish off for the third, and another that resulted in BWP’s volley, showing glimpses of the reasons why Ali Curtis and Co. did so much to bring him to Jersey. Yes, NYCFC fans, we do play in Jersey, but we represent much more of the Metro area, and much better than you have or ever will.
M – BWP – 7.5 – And he’s finally off his slide! What a cracker to score to break his duck too! Rewatch his volley and the movement of not only Abang to create the space, but BWP’s recognition of the need to recycle said space and find an opening is purely predatory. The only thing keeping him from a 8 rating and Man of the Match, is his inability to get a second. Although he didn’t bag the brace, he looked much more lively and confident than he has in a long time. Let’s hope this goal opens the floodgates for more of his triple-hop celebration!
M Mike Grella (SUBBED) – 7 – As much as I like to nitpick Grella’s performances, he does so much for our frontline that can’t be quantified and doesn’t show up in the boxscore. His energy up top and his trademark ‘never-say-die’ attitude are invaluable to our press. Proving himself to be a great under-the-radar addition, one that looks set to become a fan favorite for years to come.
F Anatole Abang (SUBBED) – 7.5 – This was Abang’s coming out party. He kept his nerve up top playing the lone striker, did very well to hold up play and bring BWP and Grella into play on the wings. Provided the assist for Duvall’s winner, belying his inexperience at the professional level – he’s 18!!! Not many strikers his age would have the poise, intelligence or awareness to put that header back across the box rather than attempting to put it on goal:
M Sal Zizzo – 6.5 – Lively off the bench and integral to ensuring that we didn’t bunker for the final 20 minutes. Looks to be approaching full fitness and hopefully we can add him to our stable of viable wingers for the rest of the dog days of summer!
D Damien Perrinelle – 6.5 – A solid 45 minutes next to Miazga, but he’s gotta keep his head. Could have been sent off for some overzealous tackles and physicality. Despite his buzzsaw approach to defending, did well to keep the backline buttoned up for the final 45.
M Manolo Sanchez – NR – Only not rated because he was on the field for only 6 minutes, but looked dangerous once again. Almost made Taylor Twellman, aka “The Commentating Head” eat his words as he said that Sanchez “wasn’t the switch he was looking for”, seconds before Sanchez hit the post. He came on against RSL midweek and looked a threat as well, it’s a decent trend he’s setting here. Hopefully he gets some more minutes, especially in the Open Cup, as he could become a viable attacking threat off the bench.
MGR Jesse Marsch – 8 – Was able to get the Bulls to brush off the cobwebs from the opening period and add a wrinkle to their second half tactical plan to surge back and stuff Man City Lite with three goals in 45 minutes. His substitutions were on point, Abang played inspired stuff up top, and he seems to be motivating the young guys (Sanchez, Grella, Abang, Duvall, Miazga, etc.) to play out of their skins! I loved his emotion after Duvall’s emphatic go-ahead goal as well! That’s a coach who’s got the buy-in from his squad. He could stand to get the boys up for the first few minutes of matches, we’ve been scored on or come out flat in the first 15 minutes in too many matches this season.
Next Match: Wednesday 7/1 v. NY Cosmos (US Open Cup) – Tickets are still available, if you’re free come support the Bulls! Time to shrug NY Cosmos off in the Open Cup on Wednesday and rightfully take the #NYCSoccerWarz crown!
Hands clasped, we pray for olé…as our beloved Bulls don’t have much of a history with the new incarnation of the NY Cosmos (and therefore not many goals to choose from), I’ve reserved this space for some gems poking fun at NYCFC “fans” and some of their delusional reactions after last night’s stuffing:
Beautiful, Miazga was epic all game long!
— Ben Jata (@Ben_Jata) June 28, 2015
Yes, we know we play in Jersey. And yes, like ‘Jersey Boys’ we are a group of talented men who are entertaining to watch! Good one Man City Lite, that’s a burn!
— Mark Fishkin (@MarkFishkin) June 28, 2015
Oh, and WE’RE fair-weather fans??
Day after the derby loss, still stings but at least we know what state we still play in. #findamap
— The Third Rail (@ThirdRailSC) June 29, 2015
Still with this?! Comeonnnnnnnn. It’s not a burn in the least, it’s a factual statement, we know that’s where we play. The Giants and Jets have the NY name on their clubs and no one gives a damn that they play in the NY METRO area. Be careful what you say, you guys might yet end up there, the NYC real estate market doesn’t have much wiggle room for a soccer-specific stadium. Face it, you’re nothing but a shell corp for Man City’s Financial Fair Play accounting tricks.
— The Third Rail (@ThirdRailSC) June 28, 2015
The wait to beat your supposed biggest ‘rival’? Noooope! Gonna have to wait a while for that one.
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) June 28, 2015
Annnnd I rest my case.