Harrison, NJ - With tonight's hard fought 1-0 win over Toronto FC, the New York Red Bulls ended a five-game winless drought to remain in second place in the Eastern Conference. For the Red Bulls, this was their third straight game in which they dominated a game with their defense and were able to dictate the flow of the game.
Despite their recent positive play, the Red Bulls were only able to record four draws and one loss. With the win, the Red Bulls (9-6-4) now trail first place Columbus Crew (11-4-4) by six points and are in good position to finish the season strong and win the Eastern Conference.
Playing without Dane Richards (Jamaica), Bouna Coundoul (Senegal), Roy Miller (Costa Rica), and newly signed Rafa Marquez (Mexico) because they were called up for international duty, the Red Bulls bench rose to the occasion.
Making the most of this opportunity, goalkeeper Greg Sutton recorded a shutout while Danleigh Borman and Tony Tchani played solid defense. Their performance tonight demonstrates that the Red Bulls bench is one of the deepest and is potentially dangerous for opposing teams.
Making his MLS Home Debut game in an enthusiastic crowd of 19,035, Thierry Henry played a pivotal role in the Red Bulls much needed win against Toronto FC. In three MLS games, Henry has recorded three assists and tonight's assist was simply spectacular.
In the 23rd minute, Thierry beautifully broke down Toronto's double-team to pass to Seth Stammler, who passed off to Joel Lindpere for the Red Bulls only goal. For Lindpere, it was his second goal of the season and his first since scoring in the season opener against the Chicago Fire.
Up next for the Red Bulls will be Major League Soccer's best team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Standing on top of the league with a 12-3-4 record, the Galaxy haven't been playing well. With a record of 2-2-1 over their past five games, the Galaxy will be coming to a sold out Red Bull Arena.
Along with the team's recent acquisitions of Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, the Red Bulls are in position to make a powerful statement on Saturday. A loss or tie following this game will be unacceptable and a disappointment to their fans.
Cesar Diaz writes for Latino Sports. Please send him your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org