With tonight's tie, the 12-8-5 Red Bulls remain in second place in the Eastern Conference and now trail the Columbus Crew by three points. For FC Dallas, they extend their unbeaten streak to 15 games.
This was a game that may prove costly to Dallas as the regular season winds down. In the 28th minutes, team captain Daniel Hernandez went down to injury. A few minutes later, midfielder Brek Shea was given a red card for recklessly fouling Red Bull Chris Albright.
If that wasn't enough, goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who prior to tonight's game led the league with a 0.58 goals-against average, injured his right knee when Thierry Henry attempted to kick a celebratory kick and accidentally injured him.
Despite the losses of Hartman, Hernandez, and Shea, FC Dallas was winning 2-1 due to goals by Milton Rodriguez and Eric Alexander. Playing with a man down, it appeared that FC Dallas was in control until an own-goal by Jair Benitez helped equalize the score for the Red Bulls in the 82nd minute.
For New York, they continued to move the ball well and aggressively attack the goalkeeper. For all the talk about Angel, Henry, and Marquez, it's players like Rookie of the Year candidate Tim Ream and Joel Lindpere who have been the most consistent in the team.
Along with their consistent play, Dane Richards has also elevated his game. With Dane Richards breaking down opposing defense, Tim Ream with his defensive play and Joel Lindpere making crisp passes towards the goal, the Red Bulls are syncing.
Earlier this week, Mehdi Ballouchy was traded from the Colorado Rapids for Macoumba Kandji. Making his Red Bull debut, Ballouchy scored his first goal in the first half of stoppage time. Ballouchy's goal tied the game 1-1 and ended FC Dallas' 416 shutout streak.
Prior to tonight's match, the Red Bulls were 1-4-0 against the Columbus Crew, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, and FC Dallas. Next up for the Red Bulls is the best team in Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
New York will have an opportunity to avenge their 1-0 loss to Los Angeles when they square off against them in the Home Depot Center on Friday, September 24, 2010.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. Please send him your comments and questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.