RBNY Notes: Illegal goal vs. Chicago, Zubar’s return, DC United, more


A brilliant piece of trickery from the New York Red Bulls worked to perfection — even if it was completely illegal.

Midfielder Lloyd Sam lined up a corner kick situation and gave a quick touch on the ball before deferring his shot to Sacha Kljestan. Unbeknownst to the Fire defenders, however, Sam already put the ball into play at that very moment. Kljestan went through the motions, feigning a corner kick before walking the ball from the flag to the outskirts of the area. Confounded by the entire affair — and a lack of a whistle — the Fire defenders stood stoic allowing Kljestan to find Bradley Wright-Phillips who tapped the ball on to  Ronald Zubar for the game tying goal.

The entire play would have been perfectly legal, but there was a key moment that should have nullified the score. Sam took another touch on the ball once in play which should have resulted in an indirect free kick for the Fire. Instead, New York managed to get one on the board.

“It was a play that just kind of came to me,” Kljestan said after the match. “Lloyd had touched the ball and figured I could catch the defense off guard and bring it in, and fortunately Zubar was in the right place in the right time and put it in the corner.”

In the end, the play would not matter much. Chicago managed the game winning goal less that 20 minutes later.

However, had the match ended in a draw, it would have been on the back of an illegal play.


After limping his way through training ten short days ago, Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar played 90 minutes on Wednesday and made quite an impression in his return to the starting XI.

The veteran French center back played a solid defensive role alongside Matt Miazga, helping to repel the speedy legs of the Chicago Fire offense. In doing so, he also managed to earn his first regular season goal with the Red Bulls — quite a feat for a man who has not gone 90 minutes in a match all season.

“That’s a real positive,” Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch said. “I think getting Ronald going 90 minutes, I thought he had a very good game, and as the game went on he got better and better.  Obviously scored an important goal for us so that was a big positive on the night for sure.”

“Yes, it was good to get him back on the field,” Kljestan echoed. “Ronald’s worked so hard to come back from a couple of injuries.  He’s had a pretty unlucky season so far.  We feel like he’s a big part of the team.”

While Chicago scored three on the Red Bulls, Zubar was hardly at fault in allowing the goals to happen. While his positioning may be in question for the third and deciding score, and his chemistry with Miazga was understandably poor, the former Wolves back showed the promise that Marsch and Curtis hoped for. Whether that leads to more starting minutes is anyone’s guess.


New York now enter a critical Eastern Conference match this Sunday against longtime rival DC United. New York trail DC by five points with three matches in hand. A win can prowl the Red Bulls back in contention for the top conference spot — and perhaps mention in the Supporters’ Shield race.

“That’s what I told the group, that right now all our focus has to go to DC as frustrating and hard as this loss is,” Marsch said after the loss. “If we can rebound and come back home and get three points against DC, we’ll forget about this game pretty quickly.

“Right now all the focus is about going back home and getting ready for a really, really big game against DC.”


  • Marsch on Gonzalo Veron: “It was good to get Gonzalo on the field.  We felt like he could be aggressive against Polster and put him on his heels a little bit.  He made a few good plays and was aggressive and used his pace to cause trouble.  I thought overall he had a positive impact on the game.”
  • Wednesday was the first time this season that Ronald Zubar has played a complete 90 minute match in a Red Bulls uniform.
  • The Red Bulls announced a new partnership with exapp.com. What does that deal entail? From the press release: “While attending a match at Red Bull Arena, fans now have the ability to log onto newyorkredbulls.com/upgrade on their mobile device to purchase seat upgrades and fan experiences, like watching warm-ups from the sideline.  The offerings on the mobile platform will evolve over the course of this season through the 2016 season. More unique experiences and seat upgrade opportunities will be added, while integrating with the Members Plus Loyalty Program. Red Members will have the most access to these experiences, however upgrades and experiences will remain available to single match ticket holders as well.”
  • No more kool-aid

    It was good for Zubar to play 90, but can we really consider it a success when the Zubar-Miazga combination gave up three bad goals to possibly MLS’s worst team?

    I’m not sure how brilliant the trick play was. I see the same play when coaching U9 soccer, until rule changes made it hard to pull off.