Harrison, NJ - On the evening before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, both the New York Red Bulls organization and the 19,684 in attendance took a moment of silence to honor the families & victims of the 9/11 attacks.
With the Red Bulls players wearing their 9/11 Memorial armband and the fans demonstrating their patriotism as they waved their United States flags, it was impossible to ignore the heavy atmosphere at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. While the memories of Sept. 11 were in the minds of many in attendance, the South Ward did a marvelous job in keeping everyone's spirits up with their chanting and enthusiasm.
Unfortunately for the South Ward, and every Red Bulls fan in attendance, they had to settle for another tie. Playing against the worst team in Major League Soccer, the Red Bulls needed a Juan Agudelo goal in 68th minute of the match in order to tie the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 at home.
For a team who are more than likely to miss the postseason, the Vancouver Whitecaps (4-13-10) entered Red Bull Arena as if they're the team fighting for a playoff spot. From the very beginning, the Whitecaps demonstrated that they're playing their final regular season matches with pride.
Earlier in the first half, Vancouver midfielder Camilo appeared to have given his teammates a 1-0 lead until the officials ruled him offside. While the call may have been questionable, Vancouver continued to move the ball well and attempted to attack Red Bulls GK Bouna Coundoul.
At the 23 minute of the first half, Whitecaps forward Davide Chiumiento gave his teammates a 1-0 lead when he accepted the ball from teammate Camilo and fired a rocket that ricocheted off the crossbar and straight to the back of the net.
With the Red Bulls now down a goal, they appeared to have lost their composure as they were called for seven fouls. In addition, Rafa Marquez was given a yellow card in the 31 minute and should have been given his second yellow card when he aggressively fouled Eric Hassli towards the end of the first half.
Moments later justice was served when Red Bulls defender Jan Gunnar Solli was issued a red card for denying Vancouver a goal scoring opportunity. While Rafa's foul on Hassli wasn't questionable, Solli's red card was.
Playing with 10 players in the second half, the Red Bulls barely did enough to prevent Vancouver from scoring another goal. Despite collecting eight fouls in the second half, it was Bouna Coundoul's decent goalkeeping that prevented the Red Bulls from being down by two goals.
Despite Vancouver's attempts to produce a second goal, Coundoul was off to fantastic start and he played well enough to give the Red Bulls the opportunity to win on Saturday. Unfortunately for Coundoul, Whitecaps GK Joe Cannon also played a superb match on Saturday evening.
Despite Cannon's inability to prevent Juan Aguelo from scoring his sixth goal of the season, was able to remain his composure as he recorded five saves and prevented Juan Agudelo from scoring his second goal of the match when he blocked him twice in the 80th minute. Three minutes later he made his presence known to Thierry Henry who about to accept a cross from Joel Lindpere.
As a result Henry misfired a header just over the crossbar and were unable to produce a game-winning goal. While the Red Bulls (6-6-15) may have earned a point and have tied the Chicago Fire for the most ties at 15 matches, they've momentarily lost the final playoff spot to their rivals D.C. United.
Thanks to Charlie Davies' hat-trick against Chivas USA, the Red Bulls are now in sixth place of the Eastern Conference and trail D.C. United by point. With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Red Bulls are on the verge of missing the postseason.
The last time the Red Bulls secured a regular season win was on July 6 when they trounced Toronto FC 5-0. For the remainder of the season, Red Bull Arena may as well be renamed Tie-Land because for their third consecutive home match, their matches have resulted in ties.
The Red Bulls return to action next Saturday, Sept. 17 when they travel to face FC Dallas at 8:30 p.m. ET at Pizza Hut Park. They will return home to Red Bulls Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET against Real Salt Lake.
Other MLS Results from Saturday
Seatle Sounders (13-6-9) lost 2-1 to Real Salt Lake (13-7-6).
New England Revolution (5-11-12) won 2-0 over FC Dallas (13-8-7).
Columbus Crew (11-9-7) lost 4-2 to Toronto FC (5-12-12).
Chivas USA (7-11-10) lost 3-0 to D.C. United (8-7-10).
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com ; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at email@example.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.