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Michelle Ackermann

Michelle Ackermann

Born in South Africa, soccer has always been a part of my life, and was pretty much ingrained in my genes. Journalism is my second love in life, and what better way to combine my two favorite things in life than to write about the one thing I am most passionate about. I follow the New York Red Bulls religiously, but have a deep passion for La Liga. This passion is part of the reason why I have moved to Barcelona to pursue my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.


A Bitter Loss For the Red Bulls

Written by on April 10, 2011 | 15 Comments »
Posted in MLS, New York RB, Philadelphia Union

For the estimated 300 Red Bull fans that made their way to the PPL Park in Philadelphia, a win against Philadelphia Union seemed almost imminent. Having acquired Dwayne De Rosario from Toronto FC, it seemed that the team had every resource they could possibly need to run circles around any opponent.

Not only do they have young Juan Agudelo, but Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. As many fans put it, “At this point, even a tie would be disappointing”.
Coach Hans Backe utilized his 4-4-2 formation, with Henry and Agudelo up in the front, with hopes that De Rosario would get the opportunities to either striker to close the deal.

No lack of attempts as the Red Bulls had 12 shots on goal, yet the Philly defense seemed too strong to break through. For many of the fans, this brought sheer frustration since the Red Bulls seemed to have possession of the ball for the majority of the game, yet the all star line up could not make it count when it mattered.

As for Thierry Henry, this game clarified what many fans feared; he has yet to score a goal this season, and almost seems unenthused to be playing for the Red Bulls, regardless of the fact that he has promised to lead the team to victory. For many, that remains questionable.

Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak stated that “We need to be effective, smart and efficient” and that it is exactly what his team brought to the field. It wasn’t a beautiful game, but at this point beauty doesn’t count, goals count.

And young Torres found the net for the Union and they have their 3 points. Backe was not too happy following the game, and simply stated that, “It is ridiculous to lose a game like this.” Yet Backe still managed to praise his team for the best first half in an away game in over a year.

For Coach Hans Backe, there is some work to be done on finding that missing element between the players that will finally lead the New York Red Bulls to victory for the first time in 16 years. All the resources are on the field, yet still lacking is the chemistry amongst players.

15 responses to “A Bitter Loss For the Red Bulls”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    IMO, Backe is a puppet coach (just hired to appease the NYRB suits and pamper overpriced over-the-hill DPs).

    I would much rather have raw young developing kids on the pitch than a Henry who is clearly done and dusted and will bring nothing but old legs to the side. Without DeRo, this team would barely make it to the playoffs.

  2. Lolo says:

    Puppet coach? Revolutionized the team from a last place disaster to a competitive force.

    Granted Henry hasn’t done anything for the squad in terms of play time… But to say that they have not utilized their young talent is nonsense.

  3. I understand where you are coming from, however Hans Backe has transformed the team in the matter of a season.

    As for younger talent, it will soon be unveiled. RBNY signed a dozen new guys, ready and eager to play. As for Henry, guess we will just keep waiting to see if he finally does something this season.

  4. Soccerlogical says:

    You are probably much more familiar with the NYRB and MLS as I only catch a game here and there but “Transformed” how?

    He gave in to Marquez’ demands of taking free kicks and a “creative” MC position when everyone knows that Marquez has an awful shot on goal, the most uncultured right foot and most importantly is a great header of the ball who always scored form headers off set pieces (never delivering the ball).

    As for Henry, he may get on a purple patch or create a few chances but no matter how much fitness he regains… it is obvious that his legs and pace are gone forever. The only intelligent move Backe has made thus far is insisting that Marquez revert to CB (his natural position) as he is clearly too old and not technical for a midfield role. Funny enough, it seems that being pushed back to CB to hide his age has infuriated Marquez who been responsible for a few goals let in (intentionally or not).

  5. Russell Berrisford says:

    Mondragon was a great signing for the Union as he has a presence that means his defenders never seem to panic no matter what pressure they are under.

    It’s almost a shame watching Henry play the way he is though. Whether it’s disinterest I don’t know (he was never the most “pumped-up” of players) but, as SL says, he has lost that crucial burst of pace that he used to have and I doubt that he can adapt his game to this fact in the same way that, for example, Ryan Giggs has done.

  6. Soccerlogical says:

    Russ – Mondragon is a very good signing but then again keepers improve with age. The MLS can be so much more interesting, successful and improve at a much greater rate if the MLS suits brought in “seasoned” players who still had hunger and bring something to the league (i.e Angel and Schelloto) as opposed to just trying to sell us hype and sh$# by signing jaded has-been names like Henry and even “immobile one classy free kick every 90 mins” Beckham.

    I mean how many more of these Henry and Beckham disasters will the fans take until those who actually know the game start protesting?

    Hopefully The Cosmos will set the standard!


  7. Gus Keri says:

    It’s still early in the season but what I saw from the NYRB so far is very promising.

    They are dominating opponents with their possession game. They are forcing them to play defense most of the time. NY attack will need more time playing together to be able to break those stingy defenses.

    How many games did Henry play with Agudelo up front? How many games did DeRo play with them? How about Tainio and Solli? How long has Tim played with Marquaz in central defense?

    Harmony takes time to develop.

  8. Gus Keri says:

    A very good start for AC Milan and Seedorf scored a nice goal to give them the lead.
    Ibrahimovic is back from suspension

  9. Soccerlogical says:

    Gusey – You’re correct that NYRB are still in the process of gelling but that doesn’t change the fact Henry hos lost all his pace and is content to simply enjoy a chill life in SOHO and the West Village.

    Let’s see how many games NYRB win should DeRo get injured.

  10. Gus Keri says:

    NYRB did well last year without De Ro and he didn’t do well last night.

    In the last 15 years, I have seen so many good players who came to die in NYC. Let’s hope he is not one of them.

  11. Guardian reporting that Stan Kroenke is about to become the majority owner of Arsenal.

  12. Thierry Henry reminds me of a comment I read some years ago about hockey player Guy Lafleur of the Canadians.

    It might have been in Ken Dryden’s brilliant book “The Game.”

    The comment was something to the effect that Lafleur was so dependent on his speed that age would not treat him kindly.

  13. Terry143 says:

    I wouldn’t put re-treads on my car. Would you?

  14. John Bladen says:

    It’s true that neither Henry nor Beckham have had dramatic impacts on their respective MLS clubs’ on pitch performance. Beckham’s lack of impact did not surprise me. At least thus far, Henry’s has. Even given his age, he should be making more of a difference than he is. Is he not trying? Struggling to fit in? Or has he just completely lost it?

    That said, neither signing was about on-pitch impact IMO. These were marketing/’media splash’ moves. Given where these two clubs were on the ‘world scale’ five years ago, and where they are now (especially financially – look at the jersey sales), I would have to say the purchases have been financial successes. Unfortunately for both clubs supporters, that is all Mgmt really wanted. Any on-pitch improvement to their clubs’ fortunes would have been a bonus.

  15. JayDelight says:

    As anyone ever considered that these established stars are so used to relying on consistent service, that when they are forced to play the game at a slower pace / create themselves, they basically have to reteach themselves the game?

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