For the fifth consecutive game, the New York Red Bulls missed their opportunity to earn a win. With a 0-1-4 record during this span, the Red Bulls are now nine points behind Easter Conference Leader, the Columbus Crew.
This game marked the debut of the Red Bulls' Rafael Marquez playing alongside Juan Pablo Angel and Thierry Henry. Rafa Marquez played for 61 minutes and he made it clear to his his team and Red Bull fans who's in charge. Thierry Henry played aggressively in the first half and almost scored an goal in the 21st minute. He did leave the game in the 45th minute because he suffered a groin strain.
For Chicago this was Nery Castillo's first match with the Chicago Fire, playing with recently traded ex-Seattle Sounder Freddie Ljungberg. When Castillo made his Fire debut in the 56th minute, fireworks went off and the crowd erupted into pandemonium as he entered the pitch.
For the first time ever in a MLS match, a total of five designated players competed against each other. With all the star power in this game, the game belonged to Chicago Fire's goalkeeper Sean Johnson. With his Herculean effort, he negated the Red Bulls numerous scoring opportunities from Henry, Juan Pablo, and Kandji. Overall, Sean Johnson made seven saves.
Despite the 0-0 tie, both Red Bulls and Chicago fans have reasons to be optimistic for the remainder of the season. For the Red Bulls, with the signings of Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, we're seeing a rejuvenated Juan Pablo Angel and Macoumba Kandji.
Currently standing at 5-5-6, Chicago has the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. With the tandem of Nery and Ljundberg, the Fire are capable of making a strong to push for the MLS playoffs.
For the second consecutive road game, the New York Red Bulls have drawn over 20,000 fans. Last week, 24,740 MLS fans were in attendance at Robertson Stadium against the Houston Dynamo in a thrilling 2-2 match to watch Thierry Henry make his MLS debut. Tonight Toyota Park had an audience of 21,868 enthusiastic fans in attendance.
Next up for the 8-6-4 Red Bulls is Toronto FC on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at Red Bull Arena. For the Chicago Fire, they will continue with their late-season push against the New England Revolution on Aug. 18 at the Toyota Park.
Cesar Diaz writes for Latino Sports. Please send him your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org