It should come as no surprise that in the nine games Sinisa Ubiparipovic has started this season, the Red Bulls have six wins.
Ubiparipovic, a three year veteran in MLS, has come into this season on a roll, showing some dazzling dribbling skills and excellent passing, which has helped the Red Bulls greatly on the counter attack.
The University of Akron product had shown flashes of talent over his previous three years with the Red Bulls after they drafted him in the third round of the 2007 draft, but he never displayed the ability to open up passing lanes and dribble through traffic on a consistent basis.
But in this season alone he has made defenders fear him with his hypnotizing runs more than in any of his past seasons.
While his play might not always show up in the stat sheet, he has set up many offensive opportunities for the Red Bulls this season, and he has scored two goals, one in the US Open Cup qualifying match against New England and in the Red Bulls' last MLS game against Houston, which helped break a four game losing streak.
One example of Sinisa being a playmaker on offense was against the Colorado Rapids in the US Open Cup.
Ubiparipovic received a pass in the center of the field, dribbled forward, got around one defender, and as he ran forward again, drew the attention from two defenders, which opened up space for a pass.
The pass went to Irving Garcia, who sent a low cross to John Wolyniec, whose extended leg poked the ball into the net.
Of course in soccer there are no assists for the pass before the pass as in hockey, but certainly that chance was set up and created by Ubiparipovic.
Another example of his excellent play was against the Houston Dynamo in MLS play.
Ubiparipovic began the game in the middle of the field, but after an injury to right midfielder Dane Richards, he moved over, and on many an occasion he streaked down the right wing with or without the ball, taking on defenders or opening up space for his teammates.
The development—and now it seems finished product—that is Sinisa Ubiparipovic is no doubt one of the big reasons that the Red Bulls are currently in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference, with 18 points from six wins and five losses.
Their six wins have now surpassed last year's win total.
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