With their third straight 1-0 shutout victory in two weeks, the New York Red Bulls are surging through the tables and are now in prime position in 2nd place.
Hans Backe decided to keep the backline that had previously held a shutout in the past two games. That decision payed dividends in the results column. With Ryan Meara patrolling the goal, New York surged into yet another early lead against a tough and capable opponent.
In the 7th minute, the lone forward Kenny Cooper put the ball in the net for what was to be the deciding scoreline. With a blunder of a back-pass from Houston’s Corey Ashe, Cooper put his body in front of a sliding Tally Hall and the ball bounced off both players and in the back of the net.
The rest of the game was a bunker and defend mentality. At halftime, Juan Agudelo came in and made an instant impact, making dangerous runs and having a go at an incredible volley attempt that was unlucky to be sent straight at Houston’s goalkeeper.
For the third straight game, one goal was enough to fend of a feisty opponent. Dax McCarty continued to be a powerful force in his destroyer role, breaking up attacks and linking the defense to the midfield. Meara got his third straight shutout and has to be picking up some publicity after being denied a chance to play for Ireland when “clever” Hans Backe thought it was a stupid and pointless idea.
After the game, it was revealed that Allesandro Nesta who played over a decade as A.C. Milan’s stalwart defender had announced his departure from Italy’s legendary club. It is speculated that New York Red Bull’s representatives payed Nesta a visit last week. The rumor mill will be spinning in high gear as he has repeatedly stated how much he loves the city of New York, and with the Red Bulls in need of a defender, this could make for an interesting few weeks.