A great turnout from the 21,000 fans at Red Bull Arena and the inspired singing from the South Ward spurred the Red Bulls to their first win of the season with a score of 4-1. Every position from Ryan Meara up to Thierry Henry had a miraculous game as the team looked completely transformed from the first two weeks. A brace for Henry and Cooper respectively was more than enough to put away the Colorado Rapids before they had a chance to breathe.
Wilman Conde and Rafa Marquez both made their debuts in the 2012 campaign, both shining under pressure save for one deadly mistake from the Mexican captain Marquez. Recovering from injury and a long hiatus from MLS, Conde had a career game, closing gaps and challenging opposing players before the 18 yard box. Marquez was key in completing the necessary passes to connect the midfield to the strikers.
Dax McCarty played a phenomenal game of box-to-box midfield. He was a destroyer and broke up countless build-ups from Colorado, surprising even himself when he steamrolled a player, took the ball halfway down the field and tripped over himself before completing the final pass to Dane Richards. Cooper had no trouble finding the net even with a difficult first touch in the first ten minutes of play. Henry’s superb control led to his first goal in the 3rd minute and the Red Bulls never let go, throttling past the Rapids with more goals in the 6th, 53rd, and 89th.
Hans Backe has to be pleased with the more controlled game New York played today. His stars performed today and maybe that is the reason the first weeks were frustrating. This team has the potential to play like this every night, but the inconsistency is what separates the trophy holders and the empty cases.
Catch next weeks game March 31st 4pm eastern on MSG against the expansion team Montreal Impact.