Sunday - July 23, 2017
Home    About    Writers    Links    Contact     RSS

About the Author

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.


Tumultuous Season for RBNY Comes To An End As LA Galaxy Defense Proves Too Much.

Written by on November 4, 2011 | 11 Comments »
Posted in General, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS, New York RB

It was a night labeled “Do or Die” for RBNY; a team that has seen many ups and downs, with a season leaving most fans questioning Coach Hans Backe and all the decisions made. Following the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal, where LA Galaxy beat RBNY at home, tensions were high as the post-game scuffle comments continued to surface. Perhaps the most noted quote was that of Landon Donovan-“We have never played a cheaper team”-whether he really meant it, or simply made the statement to get RBNY riled up, he had succeeded in ruffling everyone’s feathers.

Many fans in the NJ area made their way to Catas in Newark for the official NJ viewing party, hosted by the Viking Army. Smoke bombs, flares and chants filled the bar as fans were hopeful; while many had mixed emotions on Rafa’s performance over the season, most were content that the Mexican National would not be featured in this crucial matchup.

Backe opted for strikers Henry and Rodgers up front, while the midfield consisted of Lindpere, Tainio, Mccarty who was chosen to replace Rafa and speedy Dane Richards. The defensive back four would see the likes of Miller, Ream, Keel and Solli, while Frank Rost would guard the net.

Bruce Arena also faced the task of selecting a replacement for Juninho, who had also received a red card following the scuffle, but unlike Backe, Arena seems to have confidence in his bench and chose Birchall as the replacement.

RBNY entered the field in the same gear they had worn during the Emirates Cup; the famed yellow shorts. Perhaps a good luck omen, but on American soil, the shorts did not see the same luck as it had when RBNY went on to win the Emirates Cup. Perhaps more intimidating was the fact that LA Galaxy had yet to lose a game at home all season, and further pressure as RBNY is the only team from the East that has yet to win the coveted MLS Cup, despite being considered the cream of the crop in the East.

As the game started, RBNY seemed like a more composed team. Evidently they were well aware that the time had come for them to show what they were really made of, and in the 4th minute, Luke Rodgers stepped up; a nice pass from Henry found Rodgers in front of the net. LAG defender, Gonzalez found himself on the wrong side of Rodgers, and the Englishman passed GK Saunders without any effort. Calm, cool and collected would best describe this early goal. Was there hope; RBNY had yet to lose a game when scoring first. For the first 15 minutes it seemed like RBNY could cause a major upset as they seemed in control of the game.

To the dismay of RBNY fans, the fire and desire seemed to fizzle after the first 15 minutes as LAG found their stride; it may have taken LAG until the 41st minute to score, but as they did they were back in the lead (on aggregate). The goal would come from a Beckham corner kick that found Magee, who put it in the back of the net with a header. Coincidentally, Magee was the only player to score in the first leg of this semifinal matchup. One would think that Backe and the boys would have made more of an effort to mark this key player, but alas, RBNY was trailing.

As halftime stats were announced, possession was split evenly, leaving RBNY fans with some hope of a miracle in the second half, however RBNY came out and frustration was evident as the plays became more physical, reckless and dangerous. One such play would be the final nail in the coffin for RBNY; the 74th minute saw Miller in a reckless tackle on Beckham from behind- one that granted LAG a penalty kick. Donovan took the penalty without breaking a sweat and for the first time during the game, RBNY seemed unable to make a comeback.

The remaining minutes saw LAG hold onto their lead, as RBNY kept rallying but it would prove too much for the boys from the East Coast. LA Galaxy had clinched a spot in the final four, while RBNY would return home as their season came to an end.

Post game, numerous reports had surfaced; Backe stated that Rafa Marquez would indeed be returning next season. As for Backe’s position as coach, it is questionable- with a team consisting of accomplished veterans and young talent, one would assume he would be able to find the chemistry to finally lead RBNY into the Championship spot.

LA Galaxy is set to face Real Salt Lake, while Houston is set to face Sporting Kansas City. Both games are to be played on Sunday, November 6th.

11 responses to “Tumultuous Season for RBNY Comes To An End As LA Galaxy Defense Proves Too Much.”

  1. Moe says:

    RBNY needs a new coach, Backe is not the right man to lead this team forward. He had the winner of this years golden boot on the roster and traded him to DC. While here D Ro looked average, imagine the roster that RBNY have with a coach who really helped the team achieve its potential.

  2. J Rob says:

    Schoolboy defending led to both Galaxy goals. I didn’t think Galaxy played that well. Was Robbie Keane playing? Think that they will have to up their game to win on Sunday.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Why is Saunders in goal instead of Ricketts? Saunders is clearly Galaxy’s achilles’ heel and he makes Almunia look like Oliver Kahn!

    As for Backe stating that Marquez will return next season, surely the more pressing question is whether Red Bull GmbH will announce if Backe will be returning.

    With Henry and Marquez a year older and Backe proving that he can’t get the best outta players like Ream and Agudelo… I don’t see the logic in “assuming he would be able to find the chemistry to finally lead RBNY into the Championship spot.”

    I think the likes of Kreis or Schellas Hyndman would be much better choices to manage the team.

    Or perhaps Sven can come in as manager and Backe can return to his comfy role as Eriksson’s asst/lap dog? 🙂

  4. Saunders – I think most LAG fans would disagree with you on that one.

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – I admit that statement was based on last night’s awkward attempt at a header clearance which he missed! I was always impressed with Rickets though, but admit I have not seen enough of either.

    You got me… there, are ya HAPPY? 🙂

  6. Gus Keri says:


    First of all, you said: “RBNY is the only team from the East that has yet to win the coveted MLS Cup”

    This is incorrect.

    New England (another original MLS team), Toronto and Philadelphia also didn’t win it.

    About the game:

    I thought NYRB played some of their best during these two games series. They, at times, outplayed LAG and up until that dreadful PK mistake by Miller, they were in it to win it.

    The real turning point was when Tainio got injured. No doubt in my mind that he was a main contributor to the NYRB success this season and his loss in the first half was more costly to NY than Juninio’s loss to LA.

    But at the end, it was a case of “defense wins titles”. Over both legs, the LA defense was way better than the NY defense. Even Donovan, my pick for MVP, contributed the best defensive play of the game when he ran back and deflected the ball away from Rodgers, who had clear shot at goal.

    This is the kind of games that MLS had been dreaming of for the MLS cup, if it wasn’t for the bad run by the NYRB in the middle of the season.
    But instead, We the fans, had the chanse to see them play each other twice and both games were worthy of an MLS cup decider.

    Now, the LAG and its star collection will have no excuse not to get that trophy. Except the fact that in the MLS play-off, there is always a 50/50 chance at winning, regardless of the seeding, as Bobby proved with his “random” predictions.

  7. good review mrs ackerman,
    the only point missing was the tainio injury, that changed redbulls very negatively. Their midfield lost its fluidity and they started the lobbing which is what teams who dont have the right fluidity do.

    Second, I think Beckham won the game for LA and donovan nearly gave it away with his lackluster play. Keane did great and his talent was enough, last season it would have just been becks and donovan, keane did his job giving them three potent players. Beckham was great though, i must say he ran around and made it happen, I think Henry was tired. To often i saw slow balls roll by henry a foot from his feet. Now, lets be honest, beckham’s five year stint has brought 2 mls championships [supporters shield] and a final in the mls league cup, with possibly a mls league cup trophy this season. next season i think redbulls will be matured. it took becks 3 seasons to get LA right, RB look ready, if they can stay healthy, which can be a funny business they should be very well.

    @ MOE I disagree, Backe is okay, RB played great, RB need a deeper squad quality wise to replace players on international duty or when they get hurt. ManC proves, you need real depth in the modern game to win it all. MLS tries to go against that and thus teams suffer in their depth.

    @JROB Dane richards is not defensively sound on headers, but he spends most of his time running, look at messi, look at ribery, most players who spend a lot of time on the ground running are poor jumpers, because they are trying to keep their gravity low with speed, they train for that, so RB should have had a taller player on the corner side looking for that. don’t blame richards so quickly.

    @Soccerlogical, ream played well this game. RB is not a bad club, Backe is there. We forget LA looked pretty bad until last year and this year at times. Next season will be the litmus test. Agudelo will be a season older and should be ready to be a full starter and players like Ream will be a season older, RB will make a push next season, look at how they ended this season. start the year right and they can do well, though DC United will win the domestic treble next season.

    NYRB are the only new york area team to never have won a trophy in a major league. That is what she meant.

  8. Well, in reference to Backe returning- there was allegations that if he pulled off a victory in the Emirates Cup, his contract would be extended by two years….whether there is any truth to that, I am not sure, but I don’t think he will be replaced.
    As for my comment about him finally finding the chemistry- third time is a charm, maybe 2012 will finally be the year that he gets it right. Or most would like to believe that.
    As for the De Ro trade, I thought that was a bad move the moment it was announced….and actually wrote about that a few articles back.
    @Gus Keri- my mistake, I had heard that on ESPN Sports Center.

  9. Gus Keri says:


    I wouldn’t use an anti-soccer programming like “ESPN Sports Center” as a source of information about soccer.

  10. LA says:

    Thierry’s through pass was a thing of beauty.

    Luke Rogers nearly knocked a lady’s head senseless with the kick off the field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

House Rules

Please refrain from posting comments that;

  • Attempt to demean, intimidate or bully fellow readers
  • Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, intolerant or otherwise abusive
  • Includes language likely to offend or attempts to try and circumvent this request
  • Could be considered spam

The House reserves the right to delete any such comments and to block further participation on the site.

Soccer Report Extra
© copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Designed and Developed by:
Bills'eye + Underscorefunk Design