The 2013 season for thestarted out with a record of 0-2-2. So far in 2014, they are 0-3-1 (or 0-1-3 depending on your preference), 1 point better than after four games in 2013. What does that mean? We're going to repeat as Shield winners! Well, probably not because it's real hard to do in this league, but at least we didn't lose to this year! The Goats visited Red Bull Arena on Sunday, in their last meeting with the Red Bulls under the Chivas name. The game day weather kept a lot of the reported attendance of 15,225 (looked more like 5,000 on TV) away, but those that showed up at least got treated to a suspense filled ending.
The game started as most Red Bulls games have so far this year, with NY getting into the attack early, but not being able to do anything in the final third. What followed was another early season feature of the Red Bulls, Armando and Olave fouling people. On social media, people were complaining about Chivas USA players milking the contact, even going as far to call diving. While the Chivas players were embellishing, there was contact early & often. Armando picked up a yellow card in the 21st minute for Persistent Infringement. At the time, I thought it was a soft yellow given the foul that brought it out, but the card makes sense. In fact, in my opinion, Olave & Armando were both lucky not to be sent off before halftime, and Olave especially lucky not to get a yellow at all in this game.
The highlight (if you want to call it that) of the first half came in the 24th minute when early fan favoritepulled down Chivas midfielder in the box. On the play, McNamara wasn't going to get to the cross put into the box, but Eckersley had to drag him down and concede the third penalty of the year, and the second committed by him. There wasn't much Robles could do on the ensuing penalty kick, and the Goats took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
The first half also saw New York having to make early substitutions. The first waswho came off in the 21st minute after pulling up lame with a right hamstring injury. Thankfully he walked off without any help, but don't expect him to play this week on the turf at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The other injury was to Richard Eckersley right before halftime with a right ankle sprain.
The second half started with Chivas coming out hot, and it looked like New York were doomed to a second straight loss to the Goats. In the 53rd minute though, the tone of the game changed.picked out Wright-Phillips in the box, and the chance was almost put away as it missed wide. It was an important play however because it got Sam really going in the game, and the rest of the Red Bulls followed suit.
The majority of the second half saw NY pressing the issue, getting into the final third, and then failing to convert. Case in point, in the 72nd minute, Wright-Phillips broke away from his defender, received a pass from Henry, only to have it denied by. Wright-Phillips really should've scored but that moment was just an example of how the Red Bulls were playing on Sunday.
The rest of the game was RBNY failing to do much in the final third, and Dan Kennedy blocking anything they could actually muster. Fast forward to the 95th minute, the Red Bulls have a corner kick, and most likely the last chance of the game.comes up to join in the play, because there was nothing left to lose. , in probably the only useful thing he's done all year, took the corner (still not sure why he was taking it to be honest) and put the ball in the perfect spot for to head it home, which salvaged a point for the Red Bulls.
aka "Armando" - 4 - Was more reckless than Olave, and actually got a yellow, albeit a soft one at the time. He was also lucky not to be shown a red during the game. He probably should've been sent off during the first half in all honesty.