The New York Red Bulls only managed a draw against Chivas USA, but should have been comfortable winners after a brilliant performance that only lacked a bit of finishing quality in the final third. New York was well on top throughout the match and could easily have scored several more than the one they managed, while Chivas will feel fortunate to escape Red Bull Arena with a point.
Hans Backe mixed things up for the first time in several games, as Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez returned to the starting lineup. New York switched from the 4-5-1 it has used for the last four matches back to a 4-4-2, with Joel Lindpere back in the left wing position.
The Red Bulls started a bit slowly, but had taken control of the match by about the tenth minute. What followed for the eighty minutes after was straightforward: waves of New York attacks on the Chivas goal, with the odd attacking chance for the visitors. The hosts looked to get Henry involved at just about every opportunity, and may have made passing to the captain too much of a priority.
Henry, unfortunately, seemed to be lacking just a little bit of his usual finishing quality. His build-up play was excellent (as usual), but in front of goal his shots were wayward. The rest of the team followed his lead, with the exception of one tap-in from Kenny Cooper to level the match just over ten minutes into the second half.
New York's entire team, front to back, played very well throughout, and the goal they conceded -- to, of course, the returning former New York captain Juan Pablo Ángel -- was a great piece of individual skill. While the Red Bulls will be disappointed to only take one point after playing so well, they have racked up enough wins lately that they can afford to drop a few points in this match. More importantly, the broader signs are positive, with the team continuing to play well and maintain a solid effort for ninety minutes. The next few weeks will be very quiet, as the Red Bulls have only the US Open Cup match with Charleston before they return to MLS play against Chicago.
Selected Stats (NY - MTL)
Possession: 55% - 45%
Passing Accuracy: 84% - 81%
Total Passes: 516 - 412
Corners: 4 - 4
Open Play Crosses: 22 - 10
Fouls: 9 - 11
Shots (On Goal): 18(5) - 7(3)