Photo: Earl Gardner
I’m covering for Adam this week with this piece as he inches closer to finishing graduate school. I’m not going to pretend that I can break down the game in the same manner as he does, and I’m not sure Sunday’s match even warrants that kind of analysis to tell the truth.
The Red Bulls goals
You can find fault with all four players on the Union backline for the two Red Bulls goals. On Bradley Wright-Phillips opener, Ken Tribbett fails to track the run of the Golden Boot winner as he finds space between the center back and Fabinho. It looks like Tribbett steps up hoping to pull Wright-Phillips offside, but Fabinho isn’t on the same page and is already retreating as Aurelien Collin lofts the ball over the top for the big striker to run onto. Wright-Phillips still has plenty to do with the bouncing ball and does ever so well to loft it over the helpless Andre Blake and finish into the empty net.
The Union defense won’t want to watch the replay of Alex Muyl’s second half goal many times. Starting with a throw in just above the 18 yard box, Keegan Rosenberry lazily tries to tackle the ball off of Mike Grella who receives the throw, and then fails to stop the midfielder from playing the ball into the box for Dax McCarty. Tribbett tries to close McCarty down but a clever backheel takes him out of the play completely. Rosenberry is then too far away from Sacha Kljestan, who has plenty of time to pass across the Union six yard box, and past Richie Marquez as well as Fabinho to Muyl, who only has to beat Blake from close range. Ugly stuff all around.
Keegan Rosenberry playing every minute is an amazing achievement
Yes, I know that I just criticized his play in the paragraph above. And I’d agree that he’s maybe looked a little tired down the stretch, but the rookie’s achievement is an impressive one. Coming into the season not even assured of a starting job, the rookie grabbed his opportunity and never looked back. He didn’t look out of place in the MLS All-Star game and has been one of the team’s most consistent performers all season. It’s exciting to think about what the future might hold.
Andre Blake – 5
Can’t blame Blake on either of the Red Bulls goals.
Keegan Rosenberry – 4
Poor play on the second New York goal. Did well to get forward, particularly in the first half. Alberg should have turned in his really nice cross in the second half.
Ken Tribbett – 4
Caught in no man’s land on the first New York goal.
Richie Marquez – 4
Has to find a way to get a touch on the cross that leads to the second New York goal.
Fabinho – 2
Poor play on both New York goals. Failed to get forward much, but was behind Eric Ayuk, who he hasn’t played with all season. A slip in the box almost gifted Muyl a first half goal as well.
Warren Creavalle – 5
Standard fare from the holding midfielder until his withdrawal at halftime.
Alejandro Bedoya – 3
Was a step behind the Red Bulls midfield all match. Not sure if the DP signing isn’t quite healthy or hasn’t quite settled in with the Union/MLS, but he hasn’t looked like the same player we’ve seen for the USMNT since he joined.
Roland Alberg – 4
Had the nice turn and shot just wide early in the first half, but failed to make much of a mark on the rest of the match.
Eric Ayuk – 3
Failed to get involved for most of the match. Had one nice shot in the second half that Robles was forced to palm over the bar.
Ilsinho – 4
A couple of his trademark moves on the ball, but not much end product. That flop after the coming together with Grella was silly.
Fabian Herbers – 4
Did a ton of running without finding much of the ball, particularly in the danger areas.
Brian Carroll – 5
He certainly played 45 minutes.
Tranquillo Barnetta – 5
Came on for the final 3o minutes in what could be his last action in Chester, but failed to see much of the ball and didn’t assert himself on the match.
C.J. Sapong – n/a