The Red Bulls impressed in beating Santos 3-1 over the weekend, and certain players shined more than others. We'll be rating the players after each and every match, so lets get started. Since this was a friendly with unlimited substitutions, we'll only rate the players who started the game.
Bouna Coundoul - 8
Bouna was really good, and as some readers suggested in the comments section, kind of got lost in the shuffle last Saturday night. Everyone was so jacked up about the nice goals, the three goal first half, and the new park, but in the second half, Coundoul kept Santos from creeping back in with some really excellent stops. He's definitely grabbed the starting job, and if he plays like he did against Santos, the Red Bulls should be confident in their goalkeeping every week.
Jeremy Hall - 7
Hall split time between right back and right midfield in the game, and did well at both spots. His quickness helped shut down some Santos attacks in the first half, and in the second half he showed some good attacking prowess. Remember that Jeremy was a midfielder throughout college, so he is versatility is a positive for the depth of the team. We might see him shift around a little more based on injuries and availability this season,
Tim Ream - 8
Ream came into this game with a lot of preseason hype, and he didn't disappoint. If he continues to play as well as he has, and as he did on Saturday, the Red Bulls have a steal, and one that won't be playing in MLS too much longer. Ream was solid defensively, held his position well, and his distribution out of the back was excellent. Ream always seemed confident on the ball, and his calmness helped the Red Bulls transition to the attack smoothly. It'll be really interesting to watch him develop this season.
Mike Petke - 10
Mike Petke gets a 10. The fan favorite captained the team out onto the field for its first ever game at its new palace, and scored a goal. It was one of the most memorable nights for the team and for Petke. He eats, drinks, and sleeps this franchise, and you've got to love him for it. It'll probably be the only 10 I give out all season, but on this night for Mike, it was totally deserved.
Roy Miller - 6.5
Miller wasn't very noticeable out there for most of the game, which is a good thing for a defender. He certainly did his job defensively, as the entire Red Bulls team help Santos scoreless for most of the match. Miller had a few opportunities to get forward and provide crosses, and his crosses left a little to be desired. Still, the Costa Rican is new to MLS, and there is always an adjustment period. He is the best option as left back, and should only get better as the season goes on.
Dane Richards - 9
Richards wasn't incredible in this game. He wasn't dominant. He didn't really deserve a match rating of 9, but wow, did he ever hit that strike! I've never seen Dane hit a ball like that. I doubt even in training Dane has ever taken a shot as hard and accurate as the goal he scored on Saturday. Other than the goal, Dane was solid, but not fantastic. He always creates havoc with his speed, and as has been the case since he came into the league, if he can add a little more skill and awareness he'd be deadly. His injury at the end of the match is a concern, so lets hope he can go the full 90 against Chicago.
Joel Lindpere - 8
I was very impressed with Lindpere on Saturday night. The Estonian looked completely in control in center midfield. He displayed some nice vision and passing skills, and also had a level of physicality and toughness that was good to see. He obviously can finish, as evidenced by his goal. He can also play left midfield, but expect to see him stay in the center of the park.
Carl Robinson - 7.5
Robinson plays the destroying midfielder role very well, and he did so the other night. He also showed his ability to contribute to the attack and in dead ball situations as his corner kick found Tm Ream at the far post, the ball which eventually Petke slammed home for the goal. Robinson seems to have taken the defensive midfield role from longtime Metro Seth Stammler, and it will be interesting to see what happens to Stammler in the wake of this.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic 6.5
It seems that for every two good passes from Sinisa, there's a bad one. I can't figure out where he should be playing on a full-time basis. Last year he played some central midfield and was terrible (although you can't really judge anyone on last year). On Saturday he played left midfield and did fairly well, helping in the counter attack that led to Richards' goal. He can play, he just needs to find some more consistency.
Ibrahim Salou - 6.5
The trialist acclimated himself well in the game, and did a good job of holding the ball and being a target player. He showed some flashes of creativity as well, drawing the free kick that led to the first goal. His rating gets taken down a notch because of his horrendous tackle in the first half that easily could have warranted a red card. Other than that, Salou was solid, and he wouldn't be a bad option at forward off the bench.
Macoumba Kandji - 7
Kandji could have had a couple goals Saturday night, but couldn't find the back of the net. Still, he brought his flair and creativity to the game, as usual. Kandji always seems to be dangerous when he has the ball, and is very smooth. On Saturday, he did a really nice job passing the ball, setting up Richards on the wing for his goal. The main thing with Kandji is consistency, and if he can find it, he can really be a force in this league.
As you can see, the ratings are pretty high. But why not? The starting eleven dominated for most of the match, and it was a historic day for the club.