The New York Red Bulls played six total games in May 2012. New York netted 11 goals in those contests, and the only match they didn't win was a hard-fought and entertaining 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. In short, May 2012 was a rather successful month for the Red Bulls. Before New York take the field against Harrisburg City Islanders on June 5, let's have one last look back at some of the more enjoyable moments from what was truly a special month for both New York and the team's fan base that is beginning to dream of a title and US Open Cup glory.
Top goals of May 2012 for NY Red Bulls #5: A complete surprise
Markus Holgersson was hardly one of the more popular players among New York fans during his first month in Major League Soccer. He improved after receiving the captain's armband once Thierry Henry went down to a hamstring injury at the end of April, and he was responsible for burying the equalizer in the team's away game at Philadelphia Union. Midway through the second half, Brandon Barklage (a name you will see again in this piece) delivered as good a corner as RBNY supporters have seen all season, and Holgersson did well to get free and nod the ball into the back of the net. That goal gave me hope for New York when it comes to producing quality on set pieces going forward.
Top goals of May 2012 for NY Red Bulls #4: More set piece magic
New York found another goal on a corner kick during their final match of May, a 3-0 win over Charleston Battery. This time, the ball was played to the outside of the box for Dax McCarty. McCarty sent a one-touch looping ball toward the left post, and Heath Pearce struck a volley that landed into the back of the net. While this was a beautiful set piece goal, one that would be difficult to recreate in FIFA 12, it wasn't even the best "team goal" the Red Bulls produced during the month.
Top goals of May 2012 for NY Red Bulls #3: Trio of touches
The Red Bulls were again in need of an equalizer, this time against Chivas USA. Eleven minutes into the second half of that game, the previously mentioned Barklage played Dane Richards past the Chivas defense and into the right portion of the penalty area with one of the best through balls any New York player has delivered all season. Kenny Cooper hit a one-touch shot that tied the game, completing a sequence that reminded fans that New York can create goals without the help of Henry.
Top goals of May 2012 for NY Red Bulls #2: Cooper again
It's likely that Rafa Marquez won't make any such list for a goal that he scores. The much-maligned Marquez does deserve credit, however, for assisting on what was to be New York's game-winning goal against Philly. Marquez played a picture-perfect over the top ball toward the box, and Cooper got behind the back line before touching the ball past the 'keeper. Cooper then sent a far post tap-in from an awkward angle to put the Red Bulls up 3-2. It could, when all is said and done, go down as Marquez's last shining moment while wearing a RBNY shirt during an MLS contest if certain rumors are true.
Top goals of May 2012 for NY Red Bulls #1: Wonder strike
This will likely be a RBNY Goal of the Year candidate when all is said and done. During the second half of New York's USOC match against Charleston, rookie Connor Lade made a bit of space for himself several yards outside the box before having a go from distance. Lade's shot curled majestically past the lunging goalkeeper and into the top-right corner of the net, a true "Golazo" that even caused some Charleston fans to stand and clap in appreciation. Any Red Bulls player who tops that goal between now and November could end up winning the MLS Goal of the Year award for 2012.