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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.


RBNY Victorious in Atlantic Cup Quest, Despite Embarrassing Loss To Rival D.C United

Written by on July 11, 2011 | 11 Comments »
Posted in DC United, General, MLS, New York RB

It was one of the most anticipated matches for RBNY fans; the Red Bulls were set to face rivals, D.C United.

The game carried more than a simple rivalry; it was also the first meeting between Dax McCarty and Dwayne De Rosario since the trade that occurred two weeks ago. Fans, even those who are not sold on McCarty yet, wanted to see him perform in this match, and clarify why he is indeed the better choice for RBNY.

Coach Hans Backe stuck to his favorite formation and lineup; a simple 4-4-2, with Greg Sutton guarding the goal.

A familiar and trusted back four; Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream and Roy Miller.

Midfield comprised of Dane Richards, Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere and Medhi Ballouchy, who had to fill Teemo Tainio’s shoes. As for the forwards, the duo of Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers would be in charge of finding the net for RBNY.

The last time D.C and RBNY met was on April 21st at RFK stadium, where RBNY ran circles around the United boys, and easily defeating them 4-0. Fans were hopeful that after Wednesday night’s 5-0 defeat over Toronto, another thrashing was in store.

The first half saw RBNY with absolute control and possession, with the ball never quite making it past midfield.

Sutton left with nothing to do, as RBNY kept pushing forward. Attacking from all sides and angles; Lindpere, Henry, Rodgers and Ballouchy all endlessly were trying to find the net, but to no avail.

The first half seemed to shine light on the fact that Henry and Rodgers just could not find each other, not the way that fans have witnessed the chemistry between the two; all shots too long, too short, too wide. Never quite right.

This match may not have been the better offensive attempt by the Red Bulls, but defensively there was only one name on everybody’s lips; Tim Ream.

In the 22nd minute, Sutton had stumbled to the floor, scurrying to find the ball; Ream was right behind him and had already cleared the ball. Again in the 33rd, he cleared Andy Najar’s ball.

Undoubtedly, his greatest save of the night was in the 42nd minute, when Charlie Davies had created a breakaway, and even passed Sutton, Ream ran to the box and managed to save it in the same style as was seen in the match against LA Galaxy.

The second half saw an energized squad emerge from the locker room, and for the first fifteen minutes in the second half, most fans found themselves hoping that we could find the net.

However, Dwayne De Rosario, who had played with an intense passion all evening, found the ball in the 61st and seemingly ran circles around the RBNY defense, and found himself in front of an open net, which brought great pleasure to the approximate 250 D.C United fans that made the trip.

Absolute irony that De Ro would score against his former teammates.

Backe immediately brought on Agudelo for Ballouchy, in hopes that Juan would find the net, as he did on Wednesday, scoring two goals against Toronto.

It just did not seem to be the night for RBNY; a team that looked fatigued, and defeated.

As for the defensive midfield lacking in their game this evening, many believe that the missing element was Teemo Tainio. The McCarty-Tainio combination is a lethal one, and certainly one that was missed by RBNY during this match.

Coach Backe stated that RBNY was lacking defensively, giving away chances too easily. “Even with fatigue, there are no excuses. Even when you don’t have your best day, it should still be 0-0”. Furthermore, he stated that the last 6 to 7 weeks have been inconsistent, and found it boggling; “We have the players, we just cannot get drawn into a physical game.”

The Red Bulls may have won the Atlantic Cup, yet it pales in comparison to losing against one of the biggest rivals, and to do so at home, is even worse. RBNY is still atop the Eastern Conference tied with Philadelphia Union, both with 28 points, followed by Columbus Crew who is merely one point behind.

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11 responses to “RBNY Victorious in Atlantic Cup Quest, Despite Embarrassing Loss To Rival D.C United”

  1. Mr McMahon, you forgot to mention McDonald, he was as impressive as Ream in my view, especially in the context of DC, stopping headers, Stopping Free Headers. Linking up with clyde simms, even kitchen dared go farther north.
    I agree Ream deserves man of the match, without him, it would have been 4-0 DC

  2. Mr McMahon did not write the article.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    I’m sorry but McCarty looks like nothing more than a garden variety MLS Lego player… I don’t see anything special in him.

    NYRB often seem like a team bereft of any style and personality… probably a reflection of their bland coach.

    Backe insisted on playing McCarty and Ballouchy who both lack any creativity or passing and ball holding ability while at the same time telling Lindpere to play deeper. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if DeRo was the one who insisted on leaving NYRB as it is obvious Backe does not know how to optimize an actual playmaker behind two strikers.

    For his next trade, will Backe offer Lindpere for Robbie Rodgers?

    PS I was utterly shocked listening to the commentators constantly recall the 0-4 thrashing during the last meeting while not realizing or intentionally not mentioning the fact that this DC side had a pure playmaker in DeRo and a fully fut Charlie Davies.

  4. I completely understand your POV, however when Mccarty is paired up with Tainio, it truly is a match that fits RBNY’s midfield. As much as I hate to admit it, it seems that De Ro fits the DC style of play much better than he did while playing in NY.
    I have yet to review the game, and therefore cannot comment on the commentators and their opinions. I will say this; most RBNY fans all referred to the 4-0 thrashing of DC and hoped that this match would have ended the in the same manner.
    Disappointed is definitely an understatement. Especially following the 5-0 defeat on Wednesday night. The B squad is set to play Chicago Fire tomorrow night in the Open Cup, so here is to definitely hoping that our benched boys have something worthwhile to show the fans.

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    Michelle – It was hilarious. Messing and the rest of the peanut gallery kept referring to the 0-4 thrashing and were dumbfounded at the loss. Almost as if DeRo was nothing more than a squad player in his rookie year and clueless to the fact that Charlie Davies was coming off an injury in their previous meeting.

    PS Let’s not keep bringing up the victory over TFC…pretty much a training session.

    Thanks, great stuff as always!

  6. Gus Keri says:

    Trades in MLS is not like in Europe. It’s not value for value. It is dictated by other factors such as salary cap.

    DeRo was traded out because he didn’t add much to the NYRB offensive side while a need arose to strengthen the defensive side. His salar could help free some money to add defensive players to the team. McCarty was brought on to help on defense.

    They are not equal value players and we shouldn’t compare them to each other.

    I believe over time, McCarty will prove his worth to the team partnering Tainio in defensive midfield where we need the most help (in addition to a better gaolkeeping).

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – This is the MLS, compared to every other team except LA, on paper NYRB are the “Galacticos” of the league. DeRo didn’t add much to NYRB offense because Backe doesn’t know how to utilize players. What could possibly have changed on the NYRB financial statement in the month from when DeRo was purchased to the time they traded him other than the manager’s inability to optimize his resources.

    And playing Tainio with McCarty will do absolutely nothing to help them with ball possession and a more fluid attack which provides chances for strikers.

    They will make the playoffs along with the other 10 or whatever teams that qualify and then fall flat therefter, mark my woooooooooooooooooooords……

  8. Gus Keri says:


    DeRo didn’t improve the team possession game or its attack. As a matter of fact, NY played better possession soccer before DeRo joined, at the beginning of the season.

    The attacking opportunities never dried up. NYRB, in the majority of time, were able to generate a lot of chances at goal. they scored a league high 34 goals (6 ahead of second Seattle) Also they have a league high 96 shots on goal.

    On the other hand, they conceded 24 goals. This is very bad considering only 4 teams conceded more.

    Obviously, the team needs defensive reinforcement.

    If McCarty help shore up the defense, this is excellent.

    I happened to agree with you on the prospect of failing in the play-off but not because of McCarty or Tainio. It’s because of the goalkeeping situation.

  9. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – Did you ever think it’s not the players but the coach?

    Any MLS Lego League team would love a Ream, Marquez, Solli, Lindpere, Richards, Henry, Tainio, DeRo or even the option of Condoul and Sutton.

    For some reason, you hold NYRB to the same standards as a top10 European league side when in reality they are in the MLS and should be judged accordingly based on the talent around the league.

  10. Gus Keri says:


    “For some reason, you hold NYRB to the same standards as a top10 European league side when in reality they are in the MLS”

    I am not sure if you are talking about me, here, or yourself. You are the one who is having problem with the way they are playing.

    All what I am saying is:
    1- NY need to strengthen the defense and MaCarty is here for that purpose.
    2- DeRo didn’t add any thing to the offensive power and therefore, getting rid of him makes sense.
    3- NYRB needs a better goalkeeper if they want to win the MLS cup.

    Where am I comparing them to the top 10 European team?

    In regard to the coach:

    I thought he did a good job in introducing the possession game at the beginning of the season where they were playing some of the best soccer I have ever seen in NYRB/Metrostars history.

    Lately, the team is underperforming for many reasons:
    1- Injuries
    2- Intenational call ups
    3- The other teams parking the bus
    4- Defensive and goalkeeping mistakes

    The coaching is fine in my opinion.

  11. Soccerlogical says:

    Fair enough. In my opinion the main reason NYRB are underperforming with such a strong side (compared too the rest of the league) is one called H Backe.

    Perhaps Backe needs a few more stars like Freidel, Feilhaber and Bocanegra so he can finally tinker and get the team to play to their potential.

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