HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes boasted the top three scorers in MLS coming into their Week 6 match and all three of them made an impact as the two sides tied 2-2 in one of the weekend’s marquee match-ups.
Kenny Cooper and Chris Wondolowski each found the back of the net and Thierry Henry provided an assist as the Red Bulls and Earthquakes played to a 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
The draw ended the Red Bulls winning streak at three games, and gives them a 3-2-1 record on the season. It also marked the first time this season the 4-1-1 Earthquakes had surrendered more than one goal in a match.
It only took the Red Bulls five minutes to score the opener and it was the tandem of Henry and Cooper that combined on the tally. Henry slipped a ball inside the penalty area to Cooper, who beat the offside trap and finished with a low shot past Jon Busch.
The Earthquakes pulled level shortly after through a goal from Rafael Baca. After Dax McCarty was stripped of the ball near midfield, Wondolowski hit a pass behind NY defender Markus Holgersson that allowed San Jose's Khari Stephenson to exploit the space left by the Red Bulls’ stretched back line. Stephenson then dribbled forward before squaring a pass to a wide-open Baca.
New York reclaimed the lead eight minutes later when McCarty scored his first-ever goal as a Red Bull. Winger Dane Richards got by a lunging Ramiro Corrales on the right flank, and whipped in a low cross that McCarty volleyed into the low right corner.
Corrales quickly made up for his role in the Red Bulls goal, helping jumpstart the 35th minute scoring sequence that led to Wondolowski’s seventh goal of the season. Corrales changed the point of attack from left to right, with Steven Beitashour getting on the end of the pass before floating a cross into the area that Shea Salinas flicked back to a diving Wondolowski, who headed home.
An eventful first half concluded with a sequence which saw the Earthquakes lose two players to injury. A tussle in the NY box between Red Bulls midfielder Rafael Marquez and San Jose's Shea Salinas led to a broken collarbone for the Quakes player.
Also, influential SJ central defender Victor Bernardez suffered a sprained knee ligament while going up for a header on the same play, knocking him out of the match and forcing his manager Frank Yallop into a second substitution before halftime.
The fireworks subsided in the second half, which didn’t see as many chances created although each team pushed for a winner.
The Earthquakes came close on a pair of occasions, but Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara denied substitute Simon Dawkins and Marvin Chavez hit a curling shot wide.
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, had their best opportunity to pick up three points on a low shot from Henry that Busch parried away.
NYRB next take to the road to face Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United on April 22, while the Earthquakes return home to Buck Shaw Stadium to host Real Salt Lake on April 21.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Marvin Chavez||Honduran is bringing it in this early season with another end-to-end performance. His team needed it after watching two starters go down to injury.|
|2||Chris Wondolowski||Wondo just keeps scoring, punishing a lackadaisical Red Bulls back line for an equalizer. What may go unnoticed is the hard work he put in all over the field to help his squad earn the draw.|
|3||Dax McCarty||The giveaway on the first Quakes goal does not take a way from an overall productive performance in midfield. Won his share of balls and kept it moving for his team. Quality finish on his first Red Bulls goal.|