When is a draw also a win? When the team that earns the draw is away from home and falls behind with only 15 minutes to go before locating an equalizer four minutes before stoppage time. The New York Red Bulls were far from perfect throughout much of Wednesday evening's match at Vancouver Whitecaps, but they showed true heart when facing a situation that would have caused many other teams to fold. While one can't help but wonder how Wednesday's match will affect the team's fitness heading into their Sunday contest vs. DC United (more on that later), it cannot be forgotten that every point matters.
3 final thoughts on Vancouver 1-1 NY Red Bulls: Fatigue concerns
The following New York starters have played 180+ minutes of soccer since Sunday afternoon: Ryan Meara, Heath Pearce, Markus Holgersson, Jan Gunnar Solli, Dane Richards (unavailable on Sunday due to yellow card accumulation), Dax McCarty (subbed off one minute before stoppage time against Chicago), Joel Lindpere (subbed off one minute before stoppage time against Vancouver) and Kenny Cooper (subbed off one minute before stoppage time against Vancouver). Fans can talk all they want about the rivalry factor playing a role in motivating the Red Bulls when they host DC on Sunday. United, unlike New York, had no midweek MLS match on Wednesday, and thus they will be the fresher and more rested side. Remember that fact during the second half of Sunday's game if it is a tight affair around the hour-mark of play.
3 final thoughts on Vancouver 1-1 NY Red Bulls: Continues to improve
Rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara having somewhere between a solid and outstanding performance is no longer a news story. I was particularly impressed with Meara's distribution on Wednesday night. Meara began several counterattacks during the second half, and he continues to grow as an all-around Major League Soccer goalkeeper with every month. After speaking with several "in the know" people about Meara's skills at the beginning of the season, I picked him as my preseason RBNY 2012 Rookie of the Year candidate. Don't look now, doubters, but Meara could, when all is said and done, get a few Goalkeeper of the Year votes come this fall.
3 final thoughts on Vancouver 1-1 NY Red Bulls: Not the same
Nobody can deny what Kenny Cooper has meant to the 2012 Red Bulls during the first several months of the campaign. With that said, Cooper hasn't been the same player over the past couple of games without captain Thierry Henry in the lineup. Truth be told, Cooper actually assumed the Henry roll up top on Wednesday, with teammates attempting to play unwise balls for a forward who was incapable of chasing down the passes.
Henry does two very important things for Cooper. The man who was well on his way to claiming the 2012 MLS MVP award before getting injured at the end of April grabs the attention of defenders who would otherwise be quick to shut Cooper down in the attacking third, and Henry also begins attacking sequences unlike other New York players. Henry and Cooper are expected to again be paired up top when New York host DC. I look forward to seeing them on the pitch together.