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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.


Alternative Line Up Highlights the Woes That RBNY Coach Backe Will Face During Gold Cup

Written by on May 29, 2011 | 4 Comments »
Posted in General, MLS, New York RB, Vancouver Whitecaps

Frustration is the only word to describe the emotion of many Red Bull fans who counted on a win against Vancouver Whitecaps; a team currently on a 10-game winless streak. As mentioned in my previous article, the RBNY defense seems to be unraveling in front of our eyes with every match they play.

As the team headed to Vancouver, a few familiar faces were missing from the line-up including Thierry Henry, Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez, Chris Albright and Robinson. The most influential player missing is definitely Henry, and for some even Marquez.

Personally I think the only player whose presence was deeply needed last night was that of Thierry Henry who seemed to find amazing chemistry with Luke Rodgers; a chemistry that has yet to appear between Rodgers and Juan Agudelo.

The first half of the match saw energy and attacking from both sides; Vancouver attacking ferociously in the first 4 minutes but defensively Stephen Keel and Tim Ream were on top of their game, not allowing Vancouver access to the net.

This forced the hand of RBNY and Rodgers leading the pack with an attack in the 5th minute, followed in the 8th minute by a long shot from Jan Gunnar Solli that unfortunately missed the net.

Vancouver found the net in the 15th minute, but it was called offsides to the dismay of the Whitecaps fan base. But it was yet another reckless mistake by the RBNY defense that would lead to a penalty kick for Vancouver.

This would be the 3rd game in a row where RBNY would surrender a penalty that would lead to a goal for the opposition; this time the mistake would be off of a tackle from behind by Carlos Mendes.

Eric Hassli would be the player to find the net in an effortless manner and put Vancouver in the lead in the 23rd minute of the match, with his 4th goal of the season. This would bring the amount of goals given up by RBNY to 5 in the last three matches.

With RBNY under pressure, Agudelo attacks in the 28th minute that leads to a corner kick, one that didn’t bring the desired results for RBNY.

And merely 5 minutes later in the 33rd minute, RBNY golden boy Luke Rodgers found the net, assisted by Solli, granting Rodgers his 5th goal of the season. At the end of the first half, the score was 1-1 and would remain that way until the final whistle blew.

The second half was lacking in both energy and enthusiasm; which would add to the frustration of RBNY fans who are hungry for a win, and a return to a winning streak.

Austin da Luz came in on the 69th minute for Mendez. 86th minute Dwayne De Rosario took a free kick for RBNY, yet failed to find the net. The young Corey Hertzog came in on the 91st minute for De Rosario.

RBNY would walk away with a point, placing them in 2nd position in the East and trailing two points behind Philadelphia Union.

More importantly, I believe the game highlighted the defensive flaws, as well as the decisions that will have to be made by Hans Backe during the Gold Cup when six players from the RBNY squad will be away fulfilling international team duties.

Perhaps in the next match against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, June 4th Backe will surprise all of us with a defensively stronger side so that we may once again experience a victory.

4 responses to “Alternative Line Up Highlights the Woes That RBNY Coach Backe Will Face During Gold Cup”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    If a 30 yr old short chunky striker from England’s lower leagues (who constantly pushes off defenders because he lacks pace to win the long or through ball) is RBNY’s “golden boy” then Backe is in for a more difficult season than I thought.


    Any other coach in MLS would let their daughter clean D Strauss Kahn’s hotel suite in exchange for the likes of DeRo, Tainio, Agudelo, Lindpere and even Henry.

  2. Well, I am simply saying that he has done wonders for the team since his arrival. Certainly more than Henry did when he first arrived in New York. Atleast now, Henry can perform better with the assistance of Rodgers.Perhaps that is more accurate.

  3. Gillian says:

    This poor run of form by NY is especially worrying given how well LA have been playing in the last few weeks. It’s like the two teams went in completely different directions since their showdown earlier this month.

  4. John Bladen says:

    It’s a good point, Michelle. Henry has played well with Rodgers thus far. In the preseason, I thought Lindpere & Henry might be a lethal combination… but thus far that hasn’t happened.
    I’d suggest that having a player of Henry’s quality has lifted Rodgers game as well. Great players always raise the level of those around them (it’s what separates them from the fantastically talented). I know Henry isn’t the player he once was, of course, but he has raised the level of RBNY’s attack.

    Backe’s depleted squad earned a point on the road. That’s a good day’s work, even against an expansion squad IMO. BTW, turns out the result was better for HB than it was for his counterpart… Thordarson was fired a day later.

    So… what? Whitecaps management were expecting an MLS cup from their collection of MLS, Maltese first division and USL/NASL cast offs??? Unbelievable.

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