September 21, 2012
THE RAZOR'S EDGE
Red Bulls haven't won at Gillette in more than a decade
By Michael Lewis
Today's history lesson is an abbreviated, yet sordid and sad history of the Red Bulls' last 18 games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Since registering a 2-0 triumph on June 29, 2002, the Red Bulls/MetroStars have haven't won at all there, posting a horrendous 0-13-5 record.
The Red Bulls hope to end the streak against the New England Revolution Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (MSG).
The streak has included six coaches, seven goalkeepers and a number of likely and unlikely Revolution heroes, several of which were substitutes or scored their first MLS goals and who changed the course of the games.
A word to the wise: you might want to make sure young children are not in the room or reading this because some of the details were not pretty and be prepared for a long read, because this piece is an opus, not anything you can tweet.
New England 3, MetroStars 0 -- Sept. 21
The game that started the nefarious streak. Before we get into the nasty details, let's set up Octavio Zambrano's final game as Metros coach: His team needed to defeat the Revs to reach the playoffs without the likes of Clint Mathis, who was suspended for his red card for stomping on midfielder Jose "Chino" Alegria in 30th minute and goalkeeper Tim Howard for an illegal challenge on forward Roy Lassiter just outside of the penalty area three minutes into stoppage time en route to a 2-1 loss at D.C. United a week prior. The game in Foxborough was a disaster as Jamaican international Wolde Harris scored twice and Taylor Twellman added a goal before a crowd of 20,215. Twellman, who was brought down in the penalty area by defender Mike Petke, converted a penalty kick in the fifth minute past goalkeeper Paul Grafer to give the Revs all the scoring they needed. Twellman set up an insurance score in the 28th minute, stretching the Metros defense wide. He fired a shot that Grafer saved, but Harris put home the rebound. Seven minutes later Harris connected on a breakaway goal for the final goal as the Revs not only made the playoffs but eventually reached MLS Cup at Gillette. New England has been to the final twice since, the Metros/Red Bulls have watched on TV. The game also was the final competitive match of eventual U.S. National Soccer Hall of Famer and former international Tab Ramos. A few weeks later, Zambrano was out and Bob Bradley was in. But as good a coach as Bradley is -- he now directs the U.S. National Team -- he couldn't stem the tide.
New England 3, MetroStars 3 -- July 12
In Howard's final game in the red and black, the Metros managed to pull out a wild and crazy 3-3 draw as they overcame a three-goal deficit in the second half. Twellman lifted the hosts into a 1-0 lead off a Joe-Max Moore feed in the seventh minute. Moore found the back of the net off assists from Twellman and Noonan in the 36th minute before Noonan connected for his very first MSL goal off assists from Moore and Twellman in the 50th minute. Little did anyone know that that goal started Noonan's reputation as a Metros' killer that season. Refusing to give up, John Wolyniec, in his second stint with the team, scored unassisted in the 66th minute. The Metros pulled within one on an own goal by Daouda Kante seven minutes later. Ricardo Clark, off passes from Mark Lisi and Amado Guevara, pulled the Metros even in the 76th minute for a well-earned 3-3 tie, which had to feel more like a win. No one realized at the time that such a memorable and uplifting result would help forge such a forgettable streak.
New England 5, MetroStars 2 -- Oct. 25
This turned out to be strategic move that backfired on Bradley as he decided to rest many of his regulars in the regular-season finale, a result that came back to bite the Metros in the rear end big time in the playoffs, which began the next week. The victory gave the Revs (12-9-9, 45 points) second place over the Metros (11-10-9, 42) and home-field advantage in the conference semifinals. The first game was played at Giants Stadium, the second at Gillette (and of course, we all know what ensued). Bradley defended his move, saying losing wasn't that big a deal. Perhaps Bradley was doing his best spin job, was just being naive or didn't realize the ramifications (see next game). OK, the gory details: Regulars such as Amado Guevara and Clint Mathis were not even on the bench for that game (Jonny Walker and Ricardo Clark were, but were not used). In fact, here was the Metros lineup: Goalkeeper -- Grafer. Defenders -- Edgar Bartolomeu (Joey DiGiamarino, 46), Joseph Addo, Juan Forchetti, Craig Ziadie. Midfielders -- Eddie Gaven (Kenny Arena, 85), Jacob LeBlanc, Lisi, Tim Regan. Forwards -- Mike Nugent, John Wolyniec (Chris Leitch, 71). Noonan struck on either side of halftime (41st and 51st minutes), sandwiched around a Dario Fabbro goal in the 45th minute. Lisi pulled one back for the Metros on a 58th-minute penalty, before Steve Ralston (65th minute) and Noonan (68th minute) found the back of the net. LeBlanc closed out the scoring in the 69th minute before 12,492 spectators. Former Metros midfielder Brian Kamler, who went up to New England in that 2002 Mamadou Diallo trade, assisted on three goals.
New England 1, MetroStars 1 -- Nov. 9
After the Metros dug themselves a 2-0 hole in the first leg of the total-goals series at Giants Stadium Nov. 1, the Revs all but clinched the series with Noonan's second goal of the series, off a Jose Cancela feed, in the 21st minute past Walker in Foxborough. Guevara converted a penalty a minute into first-half stoppage time. But the Metros could never get back two goals to make it interesting as a crowd of 14,483 went home happy. It was the first of four consecutive first-round playoff eliminations.
New England 1, MetroStars 1 -- May 22
Mr. MetrosKiller continued his onslaught of the visitors, who managed to get away with a point, thanks to Cornell Glen's second-half equalizer. Noonan's 10th goal in two seasons against the Metros lifted the Revolution into a 1-0 lead before a crowd of 10,108. Noonan connected for the fifth consecutive time against his favorite team, in the seventh minute. Joey Franchino sent in a left-wing cross that former St. John's standout Shalrie Joseph got to with a sliding attempt in the penalty area. Defender Eddie Pope blocked his shot, but Noonan put home the rebound past Walker. The Metros equalized in the 55th minute. Lisi threaded a ball through the defense to Trinidad & Tobago international Cornell Glen, who raced in alone on Matt Reis to score his third goal of the season. Cancela nearly restored the Revs' lead two minutes later, but his shot bounded off the right post. Walker made a nice save on Twellman in the second half. "I just don't think enough guys played well," Bradley said of the first half. "It's hard to make up for that."
New England 2, MetroStars 1 -- June 26
In a physical game that saw 37 fouls and eight yellow cards (five on the home side), the struggling Revs (3-7-3) still managed to find away to prevail over the Metros (5-4-4). They needed a pair of second-half goals from rookies and two goalkeepers to accomplish this feat before 9,891 spectators. Felix Brillant scored his first MLS in the 64th minute. He combined with Noonan to get beyond the defense, fighting off three defenders before beating Walker from 12 yards. Only three minutes later, Dempsey made it 2-0 as he took advantage of a Noonan chip before splitting two defenders and running around Ziadie and Walker before collecting his fourth goal of the season. New England goalkeeper Adin Brown was impressive in the opening half before he left the game with a head injury apparently suffered when he collided with Franchino's knee on the save on Jeff Parke in the 17th minute. Reis took over for the final 45 mintues as he was beaten by a stoppage-time penalty kick by Guevara that was too little and too late for the visiting side. Dempsey forced Gilberto Flores from the game with a hard tackle in the 21st minute with an ankle injury. It eventually was diagnosed as a ruptured left tendon that sidelined the Brazilian for several months. "We didn't finish chances," Bradley said. "With the number of opportunities that we had going forward, the game was there for us to score first. They were able to take a loose ball play and turn it into a goal. And obviously that changed the game. Plain and simple, this was a game that we should win."
New England 4, MetroStars 2 -- June 25
The Metros have lost many ways up in Foxborough through the years, but on this Saturday night they added a new wrinkle. They lost a one-goal, late-game lead to the New England Revolution, surrendering three goals in the final 18 minutes. Ralston broke a 2-2 tie in the 86th minute, striping the ball from defender Jeff Parke at the top left of the penalty area and beating goalkeeper Zach Wells from 12 yards before a crowd of 17,194. Noonan added an insurance goal on a 45-yard goal a minute into stoppage time. With the game only 21 seconds old, Cancela stunned and woke up the Metros with his first goal of the season, one of the fastest in MLS history, thanks to a poor clearance by Regan, the left fullback. Joseph intercepted the pass and sent it to Clint Dempsey, whose head found Cancela. Cancela then lofted a 22-yard shot just under the crossbar and over Wells. Youri Djorkaeff equalized on a 67th-minute penalty kick after Sergio Galvan Rey was taken down in the penalty area by halftime substitute Andy Dorman. The Metros actually took a rare lead here only two minutes later on a Galvan Rey goal from three yards off a right-wing feed from second-half sub Gaven. But the Revs came back on a point-blank header by Jay Heaps off a Dorman corner in the 72nd minute.
New England 1, MetroStars 0 -- Sept. 24
Tony Meola was good, real good, but he wasn’t perfect. If he had been, the Metros goalkeeper would have found a way to stop James Riley’s two-yard shot in the 86th minute that was the winning goal. Instead, Meola took the blame. "It’s tough," said Meola, who made eight saves. "I feel bad because this is the game pretty much that Bob (Bradley) brought me here to try to win. I needed one more save in the game to make it happen and I didn't do it. I'll take my share of the blame." The defeat left the Metros (10-8-10, 40 points) in fifth place, three points behind the Kansas City Wizards (11-7-10, 43) for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. "Tonight was our chance to put a lot of pressure on people," Meola said. "I hate hoping for other things to happen because it seems like in 10 years, every time I've had to hope the damn thing never went our way." Riley turned out to be the hero at both ends of the field. Riley, who replaced Marshall Leonard in the 62nd minute, saved a ball off the line in the 84th minute. Djorkaeff’s end-line pass, intended for Ante Razov, deflected off Revs defender Michael Parkhurst and slid past Reis before Riley, standing in the goal, cleared the ball. Two minutes later and some 100 yards down field, Riley connected on his first MLS goal. Noonan sent a right-wing cross to Twellman, who beat Leitch and headed the ball to Riley. Riley slipped it past Meola from two yards in front of 15,633 fans. Two weeks later, Metros president and GM Alexi Lalas fired Bradley as coach and replaced him with assistant coach Mo Johnston.
New England 3, MetroStars 1 -- Oct. 29
Not even a two-goal lead in the series with 16 minutes remaining could save the Metros. They grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the first leg at Giants Stadium, but self-destructed in the second leg before a rain-soaked crowd of 9,581. Djorkaeff scored a counterattack goal in the 59th. But instead of being emboldened by the lead, the visitors fell apart. Cancela, who replaced former Metros midfielder Daniel Hernandez in the 67th minute, turned out to be the comeback's catalyst. Only a minute after replacing Hernandez, Cancela scored from in-close. Cancela's corner kick set up Noonan's header in the 73rd minute. Khano Smith, who replaced an injured Marshall Leonard in the 23rd minute, took a Dempsey pass and raced down the left wing, beating Eddie Gaven and curling a shot past Meola into the right corner in the 83rd minute. Perhaps midfielder Michael Bradley said it best. "Season's over," he said. "A terrible feeling. I don't think we played our best. It's the worst feeling in the world."
New England 3, Red Bulls 2 -- July 1
Even a name change could not change the result in this see-saw battle in front of 9,424 in interim coach Richie Williams' second game at the helm. Dempsey struck for the first of his two unassisted goals in the sixth minute past Meola, but Edson Buddle tied it in the 24th minute. Twellman gave the hosts a 2-1 lead a minute into first-half stoppage time. But Mike Magee (remember him?) equalized in the 66th minute before Dempsey collected a loose ball at midfield and ran untouched the rest of the way and beat Meola from the top of the penalty area. The Red Bulls received a boost when defender Avery John was given his marching orders for shoving Guevara in the face in the 83rd minute. Buddle tried to equalize with a chip shot that went wide of Reis in the 88th minute.
New England 1, Red Bulls 0 -- Sept. 9
Noonan was the field for only 19 minutes, but it was more than enough as he scored the lone goal in front of 12,617 spectators in Bruce Arena's sixth game as Red Bulls coach. Noonan ran onto Ralston's angled pass, eluded defender Carlos Mendes and curled his shot past goalkeeper Jon Conway in the eighth minute. An injured Noonan was replaced by Jeff Larentowicz in the 19th minute, but the damage already had been done. Guevara made it difficult for the Red Bulls to mount an 11th-hour comeback as he received a pair of yellow cards in quick succession in the 80th and 81st minutes, which amounted to a red card and the visitors playing a man down the rest of the way.
New England 2, Red Bulls 1 -- Aug. 25
It's recent history and you probably know the gory details in the only regular-season season match in Gillette this year. But here it is one more time: With the Red Bulls playing well and the score tied in the 80th minute, Mendes made an ill-advised back pass from 40 yards on the right side to Conway. The ball somehow eluded Conway, who misjudged the pass, and the Revs had yet another victory. Conway wound up in coach Bruce Arena's doghouse and didn't start for six weeks -- in a 2-1 win home over Kansas City Oct. 13. Jozy Altidore's eighth goal of the season in the 30th minute gave the Red Bulls the lead, but the visitors broke a cardinal rule of soccer by allowing the opposition to score early in the second half as Twellman trapped a goal kick by Matt Reis and headed for the goal without any pressure to score in the 46th minute before a crowd of 16,017.
"I think we can accept the responsibility for this loss. We made some big blunders, and that was the difference in the game," Arena said. "I thought we played pretty hard and deserved something out of this game." But it wasn't the case -- the Red Bulls got nothing, except for some embarrassed, red faces on one of the biggest blunders in the club's 12-year history. And that's saying a lot from a team that has one of the most disturbing records in MLS history. "I was pretty far out," said Mendes, who had replaced team captain Claudio Reyna in the 76th minute. "I saw Jon and played it back. I'm not sure what happened on the play; I'm not sure if he took his eye off it or he's moving one way and the ball went another. It's one of those plays where I didn't really even see it. I kind of turned to step up the field and the next thing I know it's going in the net. It's something that you've got to put behind you and move on."
Arena indicated that the goal was Conway's fault. Conway was starting in place of Ronald Waterreus, who had allowed seven goals in his past two games. "Well, hopefully he was trying to score, because if that was the case it was a pretty good play," he said. "He was just passing it back to the keeper. It happens from that far out."
New England 1, Red Bulls 0 -- Nov. 3
Once again, the Red Bulls took it on the chin in the playoffs -- literally and figuratively. Playing a man down for nine minutes with star striker Juan Pablo Angel sidelined with a concussion, the Red Bulls surrendered the only goal and watched their MLS playoff hopes go up in tatters for the fifth consecutive season. Taylor Twellman scored in the 64th minute to lift the New England Revolution over the Red Bulls, 1-0, before a rained-drenched crowd of 10,116 at Gillette Stadium.
The Revs, reached the conference final for the sixth consecutive year, will host the Chicago Fire Thursday with the winner moving on to the MLS Cup in Washington, D.C. Nov. 18.
The Red Bulls will go home, wondering what might have been.
"It's crushing," defender Jeff Parke said. "It's your season right there, man. You end your season on that, it just sucks, man. You put a lot of hard work into your year. We do all right and we just give up a chance and you take it all the way into the next season."
They didn’t know it at the time, but the Red Bulls' chances started to unravel when Angel was forced from the game after Revs defender Jay Heaps kneed him in the jaw while the Colombian striker came down for an air ball in the 55th minute. Angel was on the turf for four minutes while being treated by medical personnel before he was escorted off the field.
Coach Bruce Arena consulted with Revs team physician Dr. Scott Martin.
"The welfare of the player comes first," Arena said. "Juan wanted to go back into the game. After talking to the doctor, I told Juan, 'You're more important than the game.' Then meanwhile, you turn around and the goal gets scored."
Arena admitted it was awkward that he was consulting with the rival team's doctor, but he felt he made the correct move. Angel, the Red Bulls' leading goal-scorer and an MLS MVP finalist, was taken to nearby Norwood Hospital for precautionary X-rays.
"The right medical decision was to take him out of the game," Arena said. "Juan wanted to stay in the game. I let him clear his head a little bit. I called back the doctor and the doctor said he was out for 30 seconds. Whenever that happens, as a rule of thumb, you've got to consider the welfare of the player first.
"A concussion is potentially a damaging injury. A concussion, if he has it, means there's is bleeding in the brain. You don't want to take those chances although it's likely you could have kept him and gotten away with it."
Red Bulls 1, New England 1 -- June 18
On paper, losing a one-goal lead late in the match and settling for a 1-1 draw might not sound the most encouraging of results.
For the Red Bulls, it's considered progress when they play at Gillette Stadium.
Their tie with the New England Revolution snapped an eight-game losing streak at Gillette. The draw extended their winless streak here to 14 games (0-10-4), but they walked out of the stadium with a well-earned point in wake of Saturday's 4-1 shellacking at D.C. United.
The Red Bulls (4-4-4, 16 points), who moved into a fifth-place tie idle United (5-7-1, 16) in the Eastern Conference, definitely looked at the bright side of the game against the conference-leading Revs (8-3-3, 27). The Revs extended their unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2).
"If you told us before that we'd come in and get a point, we'd be happy," said midfielder Seth Stammler, who scored the Bulls' lone goal in the 37th minute, his first MLS goal in two years. "But to have the lead for so long, to give up the type of goal we did was a bit unfortunate."
Coach Juan Carlos was encouraged by the team's effort in front of 10,596 spectators.
"When we compete like we did today, we have a chance," he said. "The guys put everything on the field. That's what we always ask for. It was a very good effort and a very good result."
But it was effective enough to take home a rare regular-season point from Gillette. The last time they had secured a point was in a 1-1 draw May 22, 2004. The losing streak encompassed four coaches and four seasons.
New England 4, Red Bulls 0 -- June 7
If it was possible, the Red Bulls went from bad to worse to worst on Sunday night.
The reeling Red Bulls continue to spiral out of control in what has turned into a with a rather distressing 4-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. It was their fourth consecutive road defeat.
They also continued to add to some other rather forgettable streaks. Their winless streak reached 19 games, which tied the league record set by expansion Real Salt Lake in 2005-2006. And the Red Bulls, who already have suffered eight shutouts, set an MLS record by not scoring in seven consecutive road matches this season.
The Red Bulls also haven't won at Gillette since July, 2002 and have a 15-game winless streak there (0-11-4). Overall, they are 4-18-5 here since starting as a franchise in 1996.
The defeat left the last- and seventh-place Red Bulls (2-9-3, nine points) behind four teams with 16 points apiece -- Columbus Crew, Kansas City Wizards, Toronto FC and the Revs (4-3-4).
“At this point, I don’t really know what it is," rookie right fullback Jeremy Hall said. "I guess we played good for the first 44 and a half minutes and in the last 30 seconds, we gave up a goal that killed us. Everybody’s heads went down. I thought at half time we talked about coming out strong, but then they got the second, third and fourth goals, and just buried us. So I don’t know what it is at this point, but it needs to turn around.”
Asked if he thought the team could still reach the playoffs, coach Juan Carlos Osorio said: “Well, that is the objective. Until we have a chance, I will never deviate from that fact that we still can fight and win some games. Today, I think the second half differed from the first because we competed and were in the game.”
As it following a script that has led to other losses this season, the Red Bulls allowed their opponents to score yet another key goal in the final minute of the half. This time it was two minutes into stoppage time as Jay Heaps, off a Shalrie Joseph feed, connected from 12 yards.
“It’s when there is injury time and stuff," Hall said. "I don’t know if people are falling asleep, thinking the ref is going to blow the whistle. Other teams keep figuring it out. They watch the tape and say well if we keep fighting then they will give up. That is what it seems like. It is just frustrating.”
Jon Conway played goal for the Red Bulls.
New England 3, Red Bulls 2 -- May 29
Say this about the Red Bulls: there is never a dull moment when they play the New England Revolution up in Foxborough, Mass.
They manage to find a new way to lose or fall short of winning.
Take, for instance, their 3-2 MLS loss to the Revs on Saturday. Not only did rookie central defender Tim Ream score an own goal, but the Red Bulls left Gillette Stadium shaking their heads after having not one, but two players red-carded.
Those two players were defender Carlos Mendes and midfielder Roy Miller. What made the loss extra excruciating was that the Red Bulls twice equalized before rookie Zach Schilawski broke a 2-2 deadlock with his game-winner in the 80th minute.
The Red Bulls (5-5-0, 15 points) dropped their fourth consecutive match overall and extended their winless streak here to an incredible 16 games (0-12-4). They haven't won at Gillette Stadium since a 2-0 victory on June 29, 2002.
"I feel really, really sad for the players because they all played excellent and the attitude, the spirit for 90 minutes - even if you are two down," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. "Overall, I must say that I am pleased with the players’ attitude."
The Red Bulls outplayed New England in the opening half, yet found themselves trailing after 24 minutes and the half, 2-1, before a crowd of 11,316.
Seth Stammler and Juan Pablo Angel scored for the visitors, who played most of the second half with fewer than 11 men after Mendes and Miller were red carded in the 55th and 75th minutes, respectively.
"We setup for the first half, and we thought it was a joke," Backe said. "The first half, it was absolutely ridiculous. They had one chance and scored twice. It was one-way traffic for 45 minutes."
Angel had similar sentiments.
"We conceded goals we shouldn’t have conceded, but we still managed to score two," he said. "When you play away from home and you score two goals, you should get something out of the game. Having said that, playing with nine players, it’s a hell of a job. Overall, I can say we played well. We dominated the game the majority of the game, but then when it was 9 against 11, the whole game changed."
Added central defender Mike Petke: "It’s very tough to swallow."
Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph, a St. John's University graduate who recently returned from a five-game substance abuse suspension, nearly gave the hosts the lead two minutes in, heading a Pat Phelan delivery wide left.
However, six minutes later, Joseph was the orchestrater of the game’s first goal. Joseph had possession in the midfield and found an on-rushing Marko Perovic, who created space in the penalty box and slotted it home with his right foot past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul to give the Revolution the lead.
The Red Bulls tried tie the game in the 16th minute with two long-range chances. A Joel Lindpere free kick was punched away by goalkeeper Preston Burpo. Seconds later, Stammler’s long range effort was parried by Burpo before Phelan slid in to deflect away Lindpere’s follow-up attempt.
Stammler equalized in the 20th minute with a spectacular effort. Miller found Stammler open on the left wing and the midfielder blasted a left-footed attempt from an acute angle that zipped past Burpo and into the back of the net. It was Stammler’s first goal since June 18, 2008 – a 1-1 tie against New England at Gillette Stadium. Miller was later open with a free header, but could not get his attempt on goal.
The Revs retook the lead four minutes later. Seth Sinovic delivered a cross into the penalty box that New York defender Tim Ream inadvertently nodded into his own net.
Petke said the own goal was "just a fluke thing. It’s happened to me in 13 years many times. You know these balls tend to move weird. It happened to me in the second half, the ball come across and I was alone and went to clear it, then all of a sudden they gave them a corner kick because the ball is moving to me at a good position, but it swerved at the last second."
In a back-and-forth first half, Red Bulls forward Dane Richards nearly tied the game again for the visitors, weaving past his defender and forcing Burpo to make a sprawling save on the Jamaican’s shot. Miller threatened Burpo again in the 32nd minute, firing a left-footed shot that Burpo dove to his right to touch away. Burpo was forced to leave in the 34th minute with a severe right leg injury after colliding with Richards in a 50-50 challenge outside of the box. He was replaced by Bobby Shuttleworth, who made his first save within the six minutes of first-half stoppage time, pushing away a Sinisa Ubiparipovic shot at the right post.
"The turning point of the game was the two goals we let in in the first half, as well as the two goals we didn’t capitalize on that we could’ve," Petke said. "Especially when a new goalie had to come on - it’s horrible what happened to Preston Burpo - but a third-string goalkeeper comes on cold, we’ve got to get after him."
The Red Bulls tied the game for the second time in the evening in the 49th minute. Lindpere slotted it to an open Danleigh Borman on the left wing. Borman’s delivery found Angel, who headed it home for his fifth goal this season.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 55th minute, when Mendes earned his second yellow card for a tackle from behind on Perovic. Mendes was given his first yellow card of the night in the 44th minute.
The Revs looked to capitalize on their advantage, with substitute Edgaras Jankauskas making Coundoul stop an attempt from eight yards out and defender Kevin Alston just missing left after getting free at the top of the box.
The Red Bulls were awarded their second red card of the match by referee Andrew Chapin 15 minutes from full time, as Miller was given his marching orders for allegedly throwing an arm out at Zak Boggs.
New England took the lead for good in the 80th minute. Joseph hit a looping pass to an onside Zach Schilawski, who headed it past Coundoul.
"I timed a run there on the offside line at the 18," Schilawski said. "Shalrie got the ball there and laid one up and I just tried to find a gap there and make a run. Shalrie weighed that perfectly and slipped it right between the goalkeeper and the defender so I could get onto it and just flipped it into the goal."
Red Bulls 2, Revolution 2 -- Aug. 20
On any other night, it would be cause for a great celebration. On this Saturday night, maybe not so much.
Give the Red Bulls credit as they rallied from a two-goal deficit behind a pair of second-half goals by Dane Richards to walk out of Gillette Stadium with a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution.
But thanks to a lackluster first half, they did not leave with the needed three points to boost their MLS playoff hopes as their MLS winless streak reached seven games (0-3-4).
The result meant the Red Bulls (6-6-14, 32 points) recorded their 14th draw of the season, while the Revs moved to 4-11-11 and 23 points. The Red Bulls' winless streak at Gillette was extended to 17 games (0-12-5) as they haven't won here since June 2002.
"Every point is important," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe told MSG. "Every point counts as we got into the last eight games.
"We probably need to win four or five games. That is the reality. It's still up to us if we qualify for the playoffs."
Richards scored his first goals since June 21 to spark the Red Bulls, including the equalizer in the 87th minute. Rafa Marquez started the scoring sequence by switching the field of attack from the right to the left side to midfielder Joel Lindpere. The Estonian international sent a pass toward the goal that bounced off Richards and into the net.
For Richards, it was not enough, team and individually.
"I wanted a victory," he told MSG. "I said before the game I was going to score a hat-trick, but it didn't happen today."
But a brace wasn't too shabby, which was the same thing Argentine Milton Caraglio produced in the first-half for the Revs.
The Red Bulls started the match with one foot tied behind their backs as captain and league-leading goal-scorer Thierry Henry stayed back in New York with an inflamed left Achilles. That forced Backe to start Juan Agudelo up front alongside Richards.
The Revs had their problems as No. 1 goalkeeper Matt Reis sat out with a red-card suspension as Bobby Shuttleworth took his place in the net.
The Revs grabbed the lead in the 15th minute on Caraglio's first goal with New England. U.S. international Bennie Feilhaber brought the ball down the right side and sent a cross into the penalty area. The Red Bulls could not clear the ball and Caraglio blasted a shot that Bouna Coundoul blocked. The ball, however, came back out and Caraglio wound up in the right place at the right time and fired a left-footed shot from 10 yards into the near left post.
Caraglio doubled the lead in the 37th minute as he headed home a Kenny Mansally free kick past Coundoul.
"The problem is the first half, the way we defend," Backe told MSG. "It's not the team defense. Poor individual defending that cost us two goals."
With a minute remaining in the first half, it looked like the Red Bulls were going to be awarded a penalty kick as Shuttleworth took down Dax McCarty in the penalty. Referee Juan Guzman went to his linesman to confer. He came back and awarded McCarty a yellow card for diving, although replays showed the Red Bulls midfielder did not dive.
As bad as the Red Bulls were in the opening 45 minutes, they improved as the second half wore on.
"We said at halftime, we can't deal with this. It's too sloppy," Backe said on MSG. "Players have to take responsibility and marking being five yards away from players. It almost cost us the game. We got a good response in the second half.
"We need to step up. We need to show more passion in the game. It was a good second half."
Backe said the Red Bulls came "close to winning the game."
"In the second half, we had to put everything on the field," he told MSG. ""We don't want to come back looking at each other and I wish we could have done better. . . . For 45 minutes we gave everything we got."
Richards struck for his first goal in almost two months as he latched onto a long Tim Ream pass and beat Shuttleworth one-on-one from eight yards to cut the deficit in half in the 53rd minute.
"I was waiting for the bounce on the turf," Richards said on MSG. "I just settled it and I ran. Then it’s about composure in the box and finishing."
Two minutes later, it got even better for the Red Bulls as Mansally was awarded his second yellow for elbowing right fullback Chris Albright in the head and received his marching orders.
Richards' goal and the red card revived the Red Bulls, who continued to apply pressure.
However, the Red Bulls lost their man advantage in the 69th minute when midfielder Teemu Tainio was booked with his second yellow for an ill-advised trip on Shalrie Joseph. Tainio argued the call, but to no avail. It also meant Tainio will miss next Sunday's home game against the LA Galaxy.
But Richards saved the Red Bulls' blushes with his dramatic score with only minutes remaining.
"He always is a threat with his pace," Backe said. "He had a lot of good runs. He made most of the back four a little bit uncomfortable. I'm happy he was able to score two goals."
New England 2, Red Bulls 0 -- July 8
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- And the beatt goes on.
And beat is the key word here as the Red Bulls were beaten by the New England Revolution again -- as their winless streak at Gillette Stadium reached a confounding and embarrassing 18 games.
They only had themselves to blame as the attack was non-existent and the defense sometimes a chaotic scene en route to a 2-0 Major League Soccer loss to the Revs on July 8.
The Red Bulls (9-5-4, 31 points) could have moved into first place in the Eastern Conference with the win. Instead, they will remain in the third place as the Revs (22) improved to 6-7-4.
They have not won here in 18 games ()-13-5), an incredible streak that has included regular-season and playoff games dating back to June 29, 2002.
New York will have one more opportunity to end the New England skid when they return here for a Sept. 22 encounter.
Entering the match they had a decent excuse as they were missing six regulars from the starting lineup -- central defenders Heath Pearce, midfielders Jan Gunnar Solli and Teemu Tainio and captain and striker Thierry Henry.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe felt that was a major reason for the team's loss.
"Tough first half," he told MSG afterwards. "We could have been two down, easily. With a little bit of luck we could have picked up a point."
"We have been in this situation this season. We haven't played with the same team two games in a row. . . . We need some of the guys back, some of the experienced guys."
Backe said he felt he got what he expected from the players.
"They did what I can expect," he told MSG. "I can't expect more."
The Revs had no answers as to why they enjoy such a superiority over the Red Bulls.
"It could be a combination of things," Revs midfielder Chris Tierney told MSG. "I'm not sure a lot of teams like to come here and play on the turf. We've got good fans to get behind us. We're confident at home and we'll take the three points."
The visitors were fortunate to be only down 1-0 at the halftime. Using Kenny Cooper as the lone striker up top, the attack was nothing -- literally and figuratively. The Revs fired nine shots toward the Red Bulls' goal, five that made the net. The Red Bulls? They did not take a shot at all.
The Red Bulls started out well, playing some attacking soccer, but after 15 minutes or so the Revolution regained their equilibrium and slowly, but surely asserted itself.
It was about then the Red Bulls received a major scare when a New England player kicked the right shin of goalkeeper Ryan Meara when the rookie came out of the net to knock the ball away. Meara was OK and remained in the match.
The Revs seemed to gain confidence after that as Blake Brettschneider forced Meara to make a save in the 20th minute.
Lee Nguyen took advantage of some extra room outside of the penalty area and unleashed a 24-yard shot into the lower left corner for a 1-0 New England advantage in the 24th minute. Only moments prior, Dane Richards and Medhi Ballouchy were covering the Revs player, then forgot about him. That gave Nguyen plenty of space to fire away at the Red Bulls' net.
The Red Bulls looked their worst in the 40th minute as the Revs hit the crossbar. Brettschneider, for some reason, could not slot the ball into the net during a goal-mouth scramble with Meara out of position. But center back Wilman Conde managed to block his attempt and right back Brandon Barklage cleared the ball out of harm's way to keep the visitors within striking distance.
Finally, a minute into the second half, the Red Bulls took a shot toward the NE goal as Barklage headed a shot that traveled over the crossbar.
The Revs almost added to their lead in the 54th minute as Brettschneider found himself alone in front with Meara, but sent his seven-yard attempt over the bar.
New York had its woodwork moment two minutes later as Cooper fired a spectacular, 19-yard shot that bounded high off the right post.
"Great ball played through to me," Cooper told MSG. "Connor [Lade] made a great run and space opened up. I got the right side of the post. Unfortunately, it didn't go in."
Richards forced goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to make a save in the 67th minute, as he sent a shot off a Ballouchy feed to the lower right post that the goalkeeper gathered in.
The Revs, however, connected for an insurance goal in the 84th minute, although the Red Bulls felt the hosts had fouled on the play. They claimed that Saer Sene had fouled left fullback Roy Miller in the penalty area. Meara managed to stop Sene's shot, but the ball bounced to his right to Honduran international Jerry Bengston, who had no one in front of him and had an easy three-yard for his first goal in his MLS debut.