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Showing posts from October, 2023

RECAP: Cincinnati Torch Red Bulls 3-0 to Take Game 1 of the Playoff First Round

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls fall to FC Cincinnati 3-0 in game one of the best-of-three series against FC Cincinnati on Sunday night at TQL Stadium. First half goals from Alvaro Barreal and MLS MVP candidate Luciano Acosta proved to be enough to hold off New York and send them home in a must-win situation. The game started with solid pressure from New York, creating chances and forcing Cincinnati into errors. An early chance fell to Luquinhas in the 12th minute as striker Tom Barlow sent a ball into the box but the Brazilian winger put the ball wide of net. Minutes later Frankie Amaya also produced a chance but it was saved by Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano. The Supporters Shield winners notched the first goal in the 23rd minute when Junior Moreno passed the ball through to Alvaro Barreal. The midfielder, dribbled into the box, beating goalkeeper Carlos Coronel for the game’s opening goal. Later in the half, disaster struck for New York when Andr

RBNN Podcast: Mark Fishkin Joins to Breakdown Wild Card Win

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Mark Fishkin joins Anthony Merced to break down the 5-2 win over Charlotte FC. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN: Mark Fishing Joins to Review RBNY Playoff Win

PODCAST: Sara Ach Joins to Review Gotham's Playoff Victory

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Sara Ach joins Anthony Merced to discuss Gotham's 2-0 win over North Carolina Courage and preview the NWSL semi-final against the Portland Thorns after the international break. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN - Gotham Edition 10-26-2023: Guest Sara Ach and Gotham Playoff Review

Red Bulls Goal Explosion, Destroys Charlotte FC

Photo by Matt Kremkau  By Daniel Feuerstein It's been a long time coming, but what we saw on Wild Card Wednesday was a club that was prepared, on point, and wanted to show the rest of the league that they are here and they are coming. And as much as we love to point out that Elias Manoel has Charlotte FC's number, it rang true again with his first hat trick with the club and becoming the first player in MetroStars & Red Bulls history to get that three-goal game in the playoffs.  He got the first goal with a looping ball from Daniel Edelman and attacked the Charlotte FC area, with a hard-slotted shot that hit the inside of the back post. The second goal was a beauty that Manoel told us he dreamed that goal in his sleep as he chipped the ball, and bent it inside the far post. But the third goal was the exclamation point, as he smashed it hard past Kahlina and sent Red Bull Arena into a frenzy. We had other great goals in between Manoel's as John Tolkin continues to improv

RECAP: Red Bulls Advance, Run Wild Over Charlotte FC, 5-2

Photo Credit: Matt Kremkau By Garry Redman HARRISON, NJ - The "Special Club" that Head Coach Troy Lesesne mentioned has made the playoffs for the 14th consecutive time in their history. Fortunately, they have earned the right to take on the ninth-seeded Charlotte FC, looking to end their season in the usual frustrating fashion.  The Red Bulls do very well when they score first, something they have yet to do often this season. When they do, they usually end up on the winning end of a match.  Their record of 12-2-3 proves that fact. And it didn't take long for the Red Bull to get on the board. The man Charlotte didn't want to see on the scoresheet did just that in the tenth minute. Taking a pass from Daniel Edleman, chested the ball down and then let off a blistering shot that bounced past the diving Kristijan Kahilna to grab the lead. The Red Bulls scored their second goal in the 26th minute. Luquinhas was fouled outside the box, and from the resulting set piece, John

Troy Lesesne Lauds "Special Club" Before Playoffs

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls head coach Troy Lesesne is making a case to be the team's permanent boss in 2024 after taking the team to their 14th consecutive playoff berth on the final game of the MLS season. Despite losing key players Dante Vanzeir and Lewis Morgan for a majority of the season, Lesesne has been able to coordinate a strong defense with timely scoring to make the team a dark horse contender in this year's playoffs. "We're in good form right now," said Lesesne after the win over Nashville on Saturday. "We have to get ourselves reset, physically and mentally. The guys, I can see that they're happy, but they're also exhausted. We've got to get back home and take care of ourselves because I'm very happy to give our fans another home match." Lesesne will attempt to recharge a Red Bulls team that enters the game against Charlotte FC as favorites. The two teams played home and away, both games pro

RECAP: Gotham Topple Courage in Decisive 2-0 Playoff Performance

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC win their first ever playoff game, advancing to the NWSL semi-final following a 2-0 win over North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday night. Delanie Sheehan and Yazmeen Ryan scored at the end of both halves in order to give Gotham a well deserved win over the third place team in the league. Gotham showed little to no fear against the Courage who were playing with numerous injuries but attempted to challenge the away side. Both clubs played evenly in the midfield with Gotham getting the better of North Carolina on the wings. Lynn Williams in particular rushed past the wingbacks to create numerous opportunities. None of them were converted until just before the halftime whistle when Sheehan appeared to be attempting a pass that beat the Carolina goalkeeper for the opening goal. Gotham followed this up with an effective attack in the second half but couldn't find the deciding goal. That was until stoppage time when a counter attack saw Wil

Late Drama on Decision Day puts the Red Bulls into the Playoffs.

  Photo by Matt Kremkau By Daniel Feuerstein If Harry Houdini could pull off the most amazing escape, or magic trick that would have you stunned and in disbelief, well the New York Red Bulls just topped it all with their biggest magic trick of the season. It all came down to the final day of the 2023 MLS regular season as this club that has been frustrating to watch has once again found a way to thumb their nose at all the nonbelievers and deliver a moment of magic that finally elevated them over the playoff line of the Eastern Conference.  While defending hard and attacking hard down at Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee, this New York Red Bulls side was looking for a magic moment or two, but couldn't get anything until the clock ticked towards second-half stoppage time, and then the magic was shown as referee Lukasz Szpala saw Luquinhas being fouled on the edge of the Nashville area and blew his whistle for the foul in the box, and pointed at the penalty spot.  Omir Fernandez an

RECAP: Red Bulls Punch their ticket to the playoffs, beat Nashville SC, 1-0

Photo Credit: Matt Kremkau By Garry Redman NASHVILLE, TN - After thirty-four matches, in the slimmest of margins, and at the death, they made the cut. The Red Bulls were one of five teams vying for the two remaining spots in the Eastern Conference of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. Only two will make it. With a win and Montreal and Chicago dropping points, they will secure their place in the postseason tournament for the 14th consecutive season. Which is the longest active streak in all professional sports. But to do that, they will have to get past a very tough Nashville SC squad, with their postseason ticket already punched, and are looking to end their season on a high note in front of their rabid fans in the Music City. In the last two matches, the Red Bulls' victories were from the team having a hot start and sustaining it to the finish, but this time, they came out flat in the match's opening minutes. And it nearly cost them in the 16th minute when Alex Muyl looped the ball ov

PREVIEW: Decision Day as Red Bulls Win Guarantees Playoff Berth

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced It all comes down to this! The New York Red Bulls will play their 34th and final game of the 2023 season with their destiny squarely in their own hands. A win over Nashville at Geodis Park will give them 43 points and push them into either the eighth or ninth playoff spots. While a win my seem like an easy prospect, Nashville is one of the better home teams in MLS with only three losses all season. "We have to defensively find our structure," said head coach Troy Lesesne. "What we did against DC and Cincinnati was we didn't make any unnecessary mistakes, for the most part, in those games. And if we did, we were able to find a way to score goals ourselves or be able to mask some of those situations that we found challenging during the match. I think we have to do that versus Nashville." Red Bulls have won back-to-back games for the first time in 2023 with wins over FC Cincinnati and Toronto. This, along with results arou

RECAP: Fast Goals From Openda Leads Leipzig to 3-1 Win

photo via Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig defeat Darmstadt 3-1 at Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor off the back of the fastest Bundesliga goal of the season from Lois Openda in the first minute of the game. Openda continued his goal scoring to enter the top ten in the Golden Boot race in Germany with a second that sealed the game away in the second half. Openda found the back of the net just after kickoff when defender Benjamin Henrichs stripped the ball from the opposition and found the Leipzig striker in front of goal. Later in the half, a free kick from Emil Forsberg doubled the lead, giving the reigning German Cup champions the confidence to win the game. However, the team took their foot off the gas just before halftime as a foul from Kevin Kampl gave Darmstadt the lifeline with a penalty opportunity. Tobias Kempe converted, setting the stage for a tense second half. Leipzig opened the second half pressing for the third goal and eventually found it in the 73rd minute. A

Playoff Destiny is Officially in the Hands of the Red Bulls

Photo by Matt Kremkau By Daniel Feuerstein And now the moment has finally arrived. After all the trials and tribulations, the New York Red Bulls have taken it all the way to the final match of the regular season, as decision day will show if they will take this moment and cross over that playoff line. For the majority of this season, the New York Red Bulls have been squirming behind the eight ball, hoping to create a long fruitful winning streak which hasn't come at all in league play, until the final matches on their schedule.  There was a blip on the radar when Inter Miami and Charlotte FC had to reschedule their league game due to Inter Miami playing in the Leagues Cup final, and without Lionel Messi who was returning from World Cup Qualifying with Argentina, not suited up, it would be a late equalizer from Robbie Robinson being in a Leo Campana cross to share the points to force the Queen City club to join the pack with the Red Bulls and Chicago Fire, along with an eliminated D

RECAP: Gotham Qualifies for NWSL Playoffs Despite Surrendering Draw to KC

photo by Dennis Schneidler/USA Today Sports by Anthony J. Merced HARRISON, N.J. - Gotham FC have qualified for the NWSL playoffs with a 2-2 draw against Kansas City current in Ali Kreiger's final regular season game. The Gotham captain played an important role in keeping the team in the game and in the playoffs as results around the league saw them narrowly secure the sixth and final spot ahead of the Orlando Pride. Gotham started the game quickly with a goal from Midge Purce in the sixth minute. Delanie Sheehan played Purce into who finished past the keeper to send the team up the table into a home playoff spot. Gotham doubled the lead in the 15th minute when Yazmeen Ryan dribbled past the Kanas City defense and scored the game's second goal.  From there the Current came into the game when Alexis Loera found Alexa Spaantstra in the box to cut the lead in half. Less than 10 minutes later, in the 36th minute, a ball played across the box was knocked into the net by Gotham defend

Podcast: RBNN - Decision Day with Sara Ach and Dan Feuerstein

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Anthony Merced is joined by Sara Ach to talk Gotham FC ahead of their last, and decisive, home game of the 2023 regular season. He also talks about the impending decision day in one week for the New York Red Bulls with Dan Feuerstein. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN: Decision Day for Gotham and Red Bulls (featuring Sara Ach and Dan Feuerstein)

Ex-Red Bulls Coach Gerhard Struber Shares Thoughts on MLS and Salzburg

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Red Bull News Network had the chance to communicate with former New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber, now the manager of Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. Struber was with New York from the end of the 2020 campaign through to the early part of 2023. Along the way he secured two playoff berths, a seventh and fourth place finish in 2021 and 2022 respectively. While his time was ended abruptly in MLS, his memories of the American version of the game have helped him prepare for such a monumental task in Europe. You spent nearly three seasons in Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls, what did you learn from that experience that has made you a different coach at Red Bull Salzburg? Struber: In addition to the sporting aspects, there is a lot that I was able to gain from my work at New York Red Bulls. Any work in a foreign country not only brings you closer to the language, but also to the culture and mentality of the pe

Red Hot Red Bulls Put Themselves into Possible Playoff Destiny

Photo by Matt Kremkau By Daniel Feuerstein What has happened with the Red Bulls? They looked dead and buried after that poor result at the Arena against the Chicago Fire as they dropped all three points, but now with the last two matches by them, they are in the running on decision day to try and enter the final playoff spot and hopefully bump either Montreal, DC or Both. They went to Cincinnati, Ohio to try and dampen the spirits of all those FC Cincinnati fans after they clinched the supporters Shield.  And they did so from a wonderful hard-fought performance by taking them out by a final of two goals to one. They knew they had to play like their post-season lives were on the line and while Pat Noonan did rest most of his starters, the Red Bulls knew they couldn't take any chances assuming that Cincy was going to lie down and allow them to get free shots. Frankie Amaya who was drafted by the Orange & Blue punished them by converting the opening goal from 20 yards out beating

RECAP: Luquinhas Goals Carry Red Bulls to Decision Day Clash

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced HARRISON, N.J. - New York Red Bulls gave their playoff hopes a major boost with a 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday night, moving themselves level on points with DC United for the ninth and final playoff spot heading into the last game of the season. Designated player Luquinhas turned in one of his biggest performances, scoring two goals to give the team the kind of comfortable win they have lacked for much of the campaign. Toronto proved to have little in the way of bite in the first half as New York pinned them into their own half. Despite the dominate performance, the Red Bulls were unable to take the lead until the 45th minute when the high press paid off. Elias Manoel forced a Toronto defender to turn over the ball in their own box, opening up Tom Barlow for an easy opening goal.  The momentum continued into the second half, when Luquinhas doubled the lead with an effort from distance that beat the Toronto goalkeeper. From there New Yor

RBNN Podcast with Guests: Dan Feuerstein and Jenna Tonelli

photo by Matt Kremkau This week Anthony is joined by Dan Feuerstein to talk about the loss New York Red Bulls suffered against Chicago Fire FC this past weekend and Jenna Tonelli joins to discuss the surprising loss Gotham FC took against the Houston Dash. Also a recap of all the happenings around Europe with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast: Dan Feuerstein and Jenna Tonelli Talk Red Bulls and Gotham

RECAP: Red Bulls Stay Alive! Trip Up FC Cincinnati, 2-1

Photo Credit: Matt Kremkau By Garry Redman CINCINNATI, OH - After a disappointing 1-0 loss at home at the hands of Chicago Fire FC, Troy Lesesne and his team are now on the brink of being eliminated from playoff competition. Something that this club has experienced only four times in their 27-year history. They arrive at TQL Stadium, the home of the newly crowned Supporters Shield winners FC Cincinnati. After suffering three seasons where they finished as the worst team in the league, their climb to the top is one for the books as they capture the team’s first-ever trophy. They hope to keep their very slim postseason chances alive until Saturday, when they return home to face Toronto FC. But first, they would have to do something they only did twice this season: Grab a victory on the road. And with FC Cincinnati losing only once at their home ground this season, getting a point, let alone a win, just became a tough challenge. The Red Bulls had a chance to score on a corner kick eight m

Dejavu for the Red Bulls in Loss to Chicago

  Photo by Matt Kremkau                                                                      By Daniel Feuerstein Didn't we see this situation happen before? Didn't we see this type of performance from the Red Bulls almost an entire week ago when they hosted Austin FC in midweek and pinned them inside their own end for forty-three minutes and never allowed them to register a shot until the next minute when the Red Bulls gave them a Corner and again couldn't defend a set piece to save their life and Austin FC equalized the match dropping two points. Well, it happened again. After a masterful performance against DC United by scoring five goals and taking the full three points at DC United, they did it again against the Chicago Fire. They pinned the Fire inside their own area the entire opening half and attacked the net over and over again. They had multiple chances to score but were stopped. It did look like John Tolkin scored in the 16th minute, but it got wiped out on a fou

RECAP: Houston Suprise Gotham with 2-0 Win

by Anthony J. Merced HARRISON, NJ - Gotham FC suffer a surprise loss to the Houston Dash 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Sunday night, a loss that will keep them from claiming first place in the league and adds pressure with an impending round trip to Portland next week. Despite controlling the game for large stretching, Gotham was unable to break down the staunch Dash defense. To their credit, Houston capitalized on their opportunities to push themselves into seventh place. Gotham started strong in the first half, despite leaving players like Esther Gonzalez out of the starting line-up. Houston was willing to cede possession to the home team, packing their half with players and looking to spring forward on the counter attack. Gotham's largest enemy was their own mental mistakes. The first came just before the halftime whistle. A clearance found Nichelle Prince at the top of the box who floated a ball past a sleeping backline and see Michelle Alozie in on net. The Nigerian striker buried

RECAP: Red Bulls II Dominate, Douse Chicago Fire II 4-1

Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls II by Garry Redman MONTCLAIR, NJ - The New York Red Bulls II started off on the right foot and never looked back en route to a dominant 4-1 victory over the Chicago Fire FC II. The match kicked off with an early goal from Frank Ssebufu in the 13th minute, putting New York in the lead. They continued to showcase their offensive prowess with a goal from O'Vonte Millings in the 25th minute, extending their advantage. In the second half, the Chicago Fire FC II fought back with a goal from Luka Prpa in the 56th minute, narrowing the gap. However, New York's defense held strong for most of the game. Ibrahim Kasule was the standout player of the night, scoring two crucial goals for the New York Red Bulls II. His first goal came in the 45th minute, just before halftime, and he sealed the victory with another goal in the 90th minute, completing his brace. Head coach Ibrahim Sekagaya said after the match, "We talked about it at the end of the season