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Red Bulls Keep Fighting While Shorthanded

While many people put their minds and hearts on the Sports of New York such as Basketball, Hockey, and Baseball, others are entertained by a sport that is still growing in this nation—soccer.

In Europe it is the hottest topic around during the season and off. The players make a lot of money and mostly play their hearts out. Here in the US the players don’t make nearly as much and do not play as consistently well. To fix that, they bring in players from Europe that are veterans of the game.

The Red Bulls brought two vastly experienced players from arguably the best team in the world currently in Barcelona. Rafael Marquez (defensive midfielder) and Thierry Henry (striker) are two of the best players that stepped foot on a field in Europe during their prime. Now they both play as captain time to time for the New York outfit that plays in Harrison, New Jersey.

The Red Bulls play in the top tier league that the United States has to offer – Major League Soccer. They used to be called the New York/New Jersey Metro Stars and played at the old Giants Stadium from 1996 to 2005. Their name change was made official in 2006 and began playing at Red Bull Arena in early 2010.

They play in the Eastern Conference and currently sit at the top ahead of the Philadelphia Union. However last night they played away against the Seattle Sounders and ended up losing 4-2.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup which is the international tournament of North and Central America and the Caribbean is taking place and four of their stars were missing. Juan Agudelo (striker) and Tim Ream (central defender) are both on the United States team while Rafael Marquez is the captain of Mexico. The final game of that tournament will be played Saturday June 25, 2011 in Pasadena between the United States and Mexico. Thierry Henry missed the game due to suspension.

The Red Bulls went down 2-0 early, only 13 minutes into the game as Erik Friberg and Osvaldo Alonso both scored for the home side. Jamaican international Dane Richards struck in the 31st minute to cut the deficit in half. The second half saw right back Erik Solli of Norway nut meg a defender and his cross was deflected into his own net by Zachary Scott of Seattle. The score was tied 2-2 in the 58th minute.

The Red Bulls almost scored to take the lead as Ballouchy’s header was straight at former US keeper Casey Keller. Then Seattle re took the lead in the 68th minute as Roger Levesque headed in off of a corner kick. Then the substitute again was the hero as he took advantage of an error by NY keeper Sutton by intercepting his pass and scoring into an empty net. The final score was 4-2 Seattle. The Red Bulls still sit atop the Eastern Conference but could lose their leadership temporarily if Philadelphia gets a victory over Chivas USA this weekend.

Even with the poor results of late, NY still scored the most goals of any team in the league with 26. Their closest opponent is the Los Angeles Galaxy with 25.

After the Gold Cup, Marquez, Agudelo, and Ream should all take their place back in the starting line-up. Henry will return this Sunday against Chicago from suspension and the injured Luke Rogers may also make his way back into the line-up.

The Red Bulls have a solid team and a good coach in Hans Backe. Two seasons ago, they finished last in the entire league and last year when Backe took over, the finished first in the Eastern Conference. He completely transformed an underperforming team into a championship contender.

They still have work to do but once their starters come back, they should start improving on their current disappointing results. For more NY Red Bulls coverage stay tuned right here on Double G Sports.

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