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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.


Kansas City Clinches Playoff Berth As RBNY Continues to Unravel.

Written by on October 17, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in General, MLS, New York RB, Sporting Kansas City

Most would have expected New York Red Bulls to play a memorable game against KC, as it was their second to last regular game of the season; especially considering the fact that RBNY are holding on by the thinnest thread after a season that has exposed the weakness of the team.

Coach Hans Backe made no surprise selections for his starting eleven, utilizing the same team he has for the last few matches. At what point will he realize that there is a talented bench behind him; one that may actually throw some surprise moves at the opponents? As expected, there were no substitutes until the 70th minute, leaving many questioning the once praised coach’s judgment.

Perhaps the only player that has become somewhat of a regular sighting, Dax Mccarty, was missing from the lineup due to an internal issue earlier this week; rumors have it that he mouthed off to Backe. So, Rost as GK, Henry (C) and Rodgers up front, while the midfield saw the regulars including Marquez, Tainio, Lindpere and Richards. Defensive back four; Keel, Miller, Ream and Solli.

The game was undoubtedly a mediocre one for RBNY; at which point will this team start playing as a unit, with the same goal in mind? Perhaps more baffling was the red card given to Captain, Thierry Henry in the 28th minute. Having seen the replay a few times over, I still cannot tell whether it was an intentional kick from the back, or if Henry just stumbled into Roger Espinoza. Either way, this left RBNY down a man, in a match where all strength was needed.

Henry may be the leading goal scorer for RBNY, but does he truly deserve wearing the Captain’s armband? To many loyal fans the answer is undoubtedly a resounding no. To RBNY, the corporation, they are fully aware that the DP has been the reason why numerous fans who would have never attended a Red Bull match have paid to see the former Arsenal striker.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that he gave his armband to Marquez following his red card. It is understood by all that the former Barcelona players have an amazing partnership, but deserving of wearing the armband; not so much. If one were to ask any member of the “South Ward”; the supporters section at RBA who they believe deserve to be wearing it, the answer is almost guaranteed to be Joel Lindpere; a player that always exudes passion when he is on the pitch. Of course, it has become clear that making a profit is more important for RBNY at this point.

That being said, RBNY displayed no fight on the pitch and made Kansas City’s trip to the playoffs a simple one; two goals would make its way into the goal; the first from Bunbury in the 57th, and the second from Sapong in the 74th. These goals from KC would clinch their playoff berth, and once again expose the weakness in RBNY’s defensive back line.

Inconsistent is the word that may best describe this trying season for the Red Bulls. Just when fans started to believe they would turn it around, they were quickly reminded that even when everything is on the line, there is no guarantee that the team will come out hungry for a win.

Once again, for the utmost time this season, this Thursday’s match against rival, Philadelphia Union has been coined “do or die” for the Red Bulls. Does a team that has been so inconsistent truly deserve a shot at the playoffs?

5 responses to “Kansas City Clinches Playoff Berth As RBNY Continues to Unravel.”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Considering that Luke Rodgers never gets booked for constantly pushing running opposition to ground and Henry’s infamous “hand goal” against Rep of Ireland, I assume Henry was merely playing innocent and unfortunate when he kneed Ezpinoza’s spine.

    Supposedly, Peter Nowak dislikes Backe (I always knew Piotr Nowak was a smart man) and will go into the game against RBNY trying to eliminate them outta the playoffs, giving his former teams DC United and Chicago a chance for that wild card spot.

    Sorry Gus!

  2. Jim says:

    Henry was ‘oblivious’ last year as well. In 2010 after a score by NYRB against FC Dallas, Henry went to kick the ball in the goal and ended up injuring Kevin Hartman because the goalkeeper was holding onto the ball. For such a great player he sure has terrible spatial awareness.

  3. Gus Keri says:


    I didn’t write the article.

    And don’t be surprised to see NYRB lose to Philadelphia and still qualify to the play-off.
    It’s this kind of season.


    Sorry to say it, but you have to be Stevie Wonder not to see henry’s intention. He has a history of this retatiation stuff. This time he did it foolishly and got caught.

  4. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – I am aware that you did not write this article.. but last I checked you were still a NYRB, Rafael Marquez, Luke Rodgers and Hans Backe fan, no?

  5. Gus Keri says:


    Obviously, you know “some” about me but not “all”.

    The major difference between you and me is that you are very fast to judge people, while I like to give them the benefit of doubt and also give them more time and chances to prove their worth.

    I try to look at the big picture and not “micro-criticize”

    NY team (Metrostars or Red Bulls) has had so many great managers and superstars in their history. Look at this lists:

    Former managers include: WC winner (Parreira), U-20 WC winner (Queiroz), USMNT managers (Arena and Bradley), and foriegn managers (Milutinovic, Osorio and Zambrano)

    Former superstars include: WC winners (Matthaus, Branco and Djorkaeff), foriegners (Guevara, Donadoni, Hurtado and Valencia), and USMNT players (Ramos, Reyna, Howard and Pope)

    Yet, all they achieved was: one final appearance in the MLS cup and one final appearance in the US open cup. While many teams that are way less talented went on to achieve a lot more.

    You can analyse all day long and scrutinize every detail of the team’s play. At the end, there is something is beyond anyone’s ability to comprehend.

    I find a lot of similarity between the NYRB/Metrostars’ history and the fact that Liverpool couldn’t win the EPL in the last 21 years.

    Maybe it’s old age, but when you watch as many games as I have in my entire life, you come to the conclusion that all these individuals (players and managers) are just pawns and there is bigger thing, that is not easily understood, at play here.

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