Recap & Ratings: Chivas USA

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

How did the Red Bulls only get a point against Chivas USA?

Recap

The 2013 season for the New York Red Bulls started 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 Chivas USA 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 favorite Richard Eckersley pulled down Chivas midfielder Thomas McNamara 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 was Tim Cahill who 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. Lloyd Sam 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 Dan Kennedy. 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. Luis Robles comes up to join in the play, because there was nothing left to lose. Eric Alexander, 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 Peguy Luyindula to head it home, which salvaged a point for the Red Bulls.

Highlights

Player Ratings

Starters

GK Luis Robles - 5 - Robles only faced one shot on target, and that was a PK caused by Eckersley. Other than that, he wasn't tested, so it's hard to give him any higher than a 5, but I can't give him any lower because he didn't screw up either.

D Richard Eckersley - 2 - The two is probably being generous, but Chivas didn't get a shot on goal from the run of play. His decision to drag down Thomas McNamara in the box when the Chivas player wasn't getting the ball was terrible, and should be another reason he doesn't start for a while, if ever again. Easily this year's version of 2013 Roy Miller.

D Jamison Olave - 5 - He was his usually bull in a china shop self, just without the slight measure of control he usually exerts. He was extremely lucky not to be sent off in this game, let alone get a yellow. He should send Juan Guzman some flowers or something.

D Armando Lozano Sanchez 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.

D Roy Miller - 7 - Miller post 2013 Meltdown has been pretty consistent. He got up into the attack while still getting back to defend like he usually does, but didn't do much in the final third, a common theme so far this season for RBNY.

M Lloyd Sam - 9 - This might seem high since the Red Bulls offense didn't score until stoppage time, but Sam was the reason this team had any bite in the first half, and put in Man of the Match effort the whole game.

M Dax McCarty - 4 - I don't know what's going on with Dax early this year. Maybe it's fatigue? Just not gelling with the new defenders? Whatever it is, Dax's early season form leaves a lot to be desired.

M Peguy Luyindula - 8 - Congrats Peguy on finally scoring your first goal for NY that isn't a penalty kick. Now, if you can force Petke to keep you in the starting lineup as a CAM, that would be great.

M Bobby Convey - 4 - I seriously don't know what Convey brings to the table that Jonny Steele doesn't. Steele is younger, costs less, and plays a little more physical. So why is Convey in the lineup?

F Tim Cahill - 5 - He got injured and came off in the 21st minute. Before that, he didn't really do much, but if he had stayed in, he would've hooked up with Luyindula at some point.

F Thierry Henry - 5 - Henry wasn't impressive in this game, and showed frustration early on. I know Henry expects a certain level of play, and that it's been frustrating so far this year, but he's part of the problem right now. He needs to put some shots on target and into the netting.

Subs

F Bradley Wright-Phillips - 6 - Wright-Phillips came on for Cahill, and worked his ass off, but couldn't finish, as evidenced by the breakaway save by Kennedy. While he played well, he has to put away his chances.

D Kosuke Kimura - 6 - His biggest strength on Sunday was that he wasn't Eckersley. Aside from that, wasn't anything special.

M Eric Alexander - 5 - Wasn't on the field long enough to really deserve a rating, but gets a 5 for the corner kick that led to Peguy's goal. My only question is, why was he subbed in for Dax? He's not a central midfielder.

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