It seemed that Wilmer Cabrera’s Chivas USA were heading towards another historic victory, this time over Mike Petke’s New York Red Bulls. However, thanks to some off-Broadway drama, what looked like three points ended up as a point split between New York and Chivas at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Sunday afternoon.
Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the Sunday matinee between the New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA.
1. Erick Torres continues his hotstreak
Erick “Cubo” Torres is Chivas USA’s top goalscorer for a reason: he just finds a way to find the back of the net. In the 25th minute, he converted a penalty kick that was won by Thomas McNamara to make it 1-0 Goats.
2. Peguy Luyindula with last-gasp drama
Just when a draw seemed out of reach for the Red Bulls, Peguy Luyindula converts a corner from Eric Alexander to force the point split in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. No one in stripes marked Luyindula in the middle. The ball was well-placed and the heading was timed perfectly.
3. A brave performance against New York for Chivas
Despite the draw, Chivas USA have to be relatively pleased with their performance against New York. At least, that’s what the manager thinks.
“It obviously hurts,” Cabrera told MLSSoccer.com’s Blair Angulo, “but if you said to me at the beginning of the game that we’d come to Red Bull Arena and play this way against this excellent team that last year was the Supporters’ Shield winner, I would say, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ It is a good result overall. It hurts because we were ahead for 94 minutes, but the reality is, you have to play the whole game.”
4. A solid performance from Dan Kennedy
Four saves, a catch, a punch and a drop. This was a strong performance from Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, and it was unfortunate that he couldn’t maintain the shutout.
“Of course we’re disappointed with giving up a goal in the last minute of the game, the dying seconds, really,” Kennedy told Angulo. “Realistically, in the big picture and over the course of the season, compared to our performance last week, we took some really big steps forward. That’s what we need to keep in mind as we continue to build this team.”
5. The reserves could be coming out of the woodwork for New York
What we also learned is that New York may be looking towards investing in its reserves to deliver more convincing results, after the first team fell flat. The Red Bulls are winless through four games.
“I’m going to pay very close attention to the reserve players throughout this week because there has to come a point that some of these kids are given the opportunity they deserve,” said Petke to MLSSoccer.com’s Franco Panizo. “I don’t want any [headlines] that I’m going to make wholesale changes, because that’s not what I’m saying.
“But we need some life in this team at times and we saw it in the second half, but we saw it very sparingly throughout the first four games. That to me – talk tactics all you want, talk individual players and mistakes – but at the end of the day, if we’re going to come out flat like that, then might as well not come out at all.”
6. New York dominate stats, but can’t finish
On the match statistics, the Red Bulls dominate a number of key categories, including attempts on goal, open play crosses, passing accuracy and possession. However, a strong goalkeeping performance from Dan Kennedy nullified New York’s match stats domination.
|New York Red Bulls||Chivas USA|
|13||Attempts on Goal||6|
|5||Shots on Target||1|
|7||Shots off Target||0|
|27||Open Play Crosses||10|
|1||First Yellow Cards||2|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|56%||Duels Won %||43%|
|80%||Passing Accuracy %||68%|