Kljestan’s First Red Bulls Goal Sparks Dominant New York Victory

IMAGE, NEWYORKREDBULLS.COM

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
Staff Writer

High tempo soccer? The New York Red Bulls put it on display in a dominating 2-0 victory over visiting San Jose Earthquakes.

Sacha Kljestan’s first goal as a Red Bull 28th minutes in sparked New York to victory at Red Bull Arena on Friday night in front of an announced crowd of 16,406 fans. A second goal by Mike Grella in the 34th was all the team needed to remain undefeated and once again top the Eastern Conference with 12 points through five matches.

“It’s been a good start,” Red Bull boss Jesse Marsch said after the match. “We’ve concentrated on staying focused and not being satisfied, and tonight we came out, and from the start created chances and got a 2-0 lead and made sure that we weren’t going to give it away. We required Luis [Robles] to make a couple saves in the end, he did his job, and I think a lot of guys had good nights and I think it’s good to keep looking forward. We’re not looking back.”

The first half was chippy as San Jose kept New York off balance by cutting off the midfield. An early yellow card in the tenth minute after an aggressive tackle by Perinelle had the team playing cautious.

It wasn’t until the 20th minute that the Red Bulls’ high tempo style took hold and the team was able to control the rest of the half. Sacha Kljestan’s first goal of the season, and first as a New York Red Bull, put the momentum firmly in the home team’s grasp. The initial reaching shot by Bradley Wright-Phillips was saved by goalkeeper David Bingham but an unmarked Kljestan slotted the ball into the back of the net.

“I think I just found my way in the box,” Kljestan explained. “We created some turnovers in the first half and we created a few chances off them. It’s nice to kind of get the monkey off the back and I hope that it’s the first of many.”

Mike Grella netted the second in the 34th minute after a superb cross from Lloyd Sam, putting the exclamation point on a very productive first half.

That pressure continued in the second half as the Red Bulls pressed for a third goal. Bradley Wright-Phillips came very close in the 56th minute on a beautiful pass from Kljestan and once again in the 85th, but couldn’t find the finishing touch. The inclusion of Chris Wondolowski, who didn’t start the game after sitting on the bench in USA’s 2-0 exhibition win against Mexico on Wednesday,did little to improve San Jose’s offense.

New York will continue their April homestand against Robbie Keane and the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 26th at 5pm.

  • #Redbullshout

    Noooooooo!

    It can’t be true that Jesse Marsch is a better coach than Mike Petke!

    You are ruining all my homo-erotic soccer fantasies!

    • Jones

      Awesome, these losers complain because they are gay for Petke and not welcome in the arena anymore. It’s our team now and back to being just losers eating ramen noodles for the RBO. We beat SJ and it’s we didn’t sell out or SJ is weak. Always have an excuse. RBO = loser democrats. Great win.

  • Stone cold Steve Austin

    I’ll say it again and I will not stop saying this, the east conference is so weak and red bull for sure will make the east playoffs. While the west is A Blood in blood out conference. ( no disrespect but the east is a joke)
    I know San Jose is a west conference team and I can’t wait for red bull to make a west trip and see how good they do.
    At the end of the day, they only drew 16,000 when they had tickets for 10$ and 20$ Right, And probably they gave free tickets and it was Friday.
    C’mon Friday night soccer. Hopefully cosmos listen to pele and they buy red bull and why not, red bull can be their jersey and stadium sponsor.

    • You know the Red Bulls now have a win and an away draw against the West, right?

      Troll on, Troll.

    • Jones

      You continue to be the biggest loser Stoney. Red Bull is here to stay and your gay fantasy of Petke and you having sex is all you have. Did you ever think about getting a real job?

  • Ali is my man

    Hate to **** off all you Petke fan boys but the guy was a donkey both as a player and a coach.

    Red Bulls made a painful but correct decision to finally restore some balance to this team.

    I do however give credit though to Petke for injecting some pride and passion into this franchise. They are going to have a great season if BWP can find his shooting boots.

  • Anonymous

    Why **** on Petke???? Just enjoy the win. But no way 16K at RBA tonite. Don’t worry about Petke, worry about a half empty stadium on a perfect Friday nite with 1st place on the line. Worry about an undefeated team who is 1st place in the East, drawing 5,000 less people than the last home game.

  • Lyon

    Great for the redbulls,but all points to the general ineptitude of the MLS. For a team of this relative low quality to be handily skating by with relative ease is just laughable. The fact that you couldn’t watch the game on tv unless you had obscure UNIM says something too.

    • tgx

      UNIMAS is a free over-the-air Spanish network (Channel 68.1 in NY/NJ) with English SAP audio available.

  • Yawn

    The lack of attendance is not news worthy. Look at any other season at RBA, there is always waning attendance early in the year and on weeknights especially against competition that isnt a rival.

    The west is definitely a stronger conference this year and I am not a fan of the extra playoff spot. But just because we are in the weaker conference does not mean we cant be the best team in the league. As of now we are the only team in either conference to have found any sort of consistency and the longer we can continue the run of good form, the less pressure there will be on this team to perform in the grueling summer months.

  • Claudio Bergamasco

    Very entertaining game. Overall RBNY outplayed what at this point can only be called a mediocre team. McCarty played a great game and worked his heart out, taking a tremendous amount of pressure off RBNY’s questionable central defense. He and Sam are now the heart of the team. But I can’t help but feel that this team is overachieving, and skating on thin ice. Kljestan is still a big question and Grella, for all his good technical ability, great finishing, and hard work, is simply too slow to be playing an outside midfield position. His limited pace results in very few crosses deep from the left side which limits RBNY’s offensive options. In short I hope that RBNY is not lulled into believing that it need not look to sign a DP or two come the summer transfer window. It might also help attendance- only 16,400 last night despite RBNY’s success this season. NYFC drew over 20k in their midweek game against Philly and NYFC has not exactly had a stellar season thus far

    Big game on 4/26 vs LA. Should be good test.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • DPs don’t draw beyond the first month or two. See the sat 4 yrs.
      that being said I would be glad to get a gear winger – DP or another Lloyd Sam would be great.

  • Ali is my man

    Why are people so fricking obsessed with attendance at these games? Fans are fickle, RB Arena is a massive pain to get/drive to and they didn’t sign any superstars this season, which quite frankly helps get asses on seats. What do you expect???

    • Jimmy

      It’s these losers that are crying like sissies about Petke. We keep winning so they can’t complain about Marsch so now they jump on attendance. Little punk girls. You know the wimpy kids that say something under their breath once you walk away. That is them.

      • slowleftarm

        People have been complaining about low attendance since RBA opened and they should because it’s less fun going to a game in a half-empty stadium. Some marketing might help but RB has consistently refused to spend anything on promoting the team. I know a guy from Italy who’s lived in the city for 20 years and watches Serie A like it’s his job. He had no idea RBNY existed until I brought him to a game. Now he’s jumped on the NYCFC bandwagon. Just one of many potential fans lost. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.

  • Does anyone really believe attendance announcements by RB? Big difference ticket sales v gate…ain’t never gonna work in Harrison,respectfully said. NYFC and Cosmos will certainly eventually pass them by,fans will continue switching allegiance as in the end in this country it’s about location,location,location and big names. Acting like a small market team in a market like NY will fail,even if you are winning in a lame league. That is twhy Ali’s plan is so myopic even if well intentioned.

    • slowleftarm

      Hempstead Cosmos draw 4k a game and play in a minor league. NYCFC may pass RBNY but their stadium situation is far from settled and they may end up in Westchester. And every team reports tickets sold as the attendance, not people actually showing up, not just RBNY.