Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Red Bull loss clinches spot for K.C.
by Ridge Mahoney, October 24th, 2008 7AM



[MLS] After squandering a scenario of "win and we're in," the Red Bulls must now "pray for another day." Fire forward Chris Rolfe scored three goals, all in the first half, and earned two assists as well in a 5-2 romp at Toyota Park that guaranteed Chicago second place in the Eastern Conference and yanked New York's destiny out of its hands.

A Juan Pablo Angel header briefly tied the match, 1-1, but Rolfe scored twice more, and he and his teammates ran rampant to add goals by Brian McBride and substitute Daniel Woolward before Macoumba Kandji tapped a ball home in the final minutes.

The result guarantees Kansas City a wild-card spot and leaves the door wide-open for D.C. United to grab the eighth and final place in the very last game of the season.

New York can still get in, but needs help from Columbus. Kansas City, which is currently tied with New York (39 points) in seventh place overall, beats the Red Bulls in the first tiebreaker, head-to-head results, and thus qualifies even if loses to the Revs on Saturday. Regardless of what the Wizards do, D.C. (37 points) will edge New York by a point by beating the Crew Sunday. That match kicks off at 5 p.m. ET.

Rolfe snapped home a header from a Stephen King cross in the 11th minute, chested down a partial clearance and volleyed a spectacular goal in the 38th, and ran onto a Cuauhtemoc Blanco pass in the 44th to stick home his third goal.

He might have been a shade offside when Blanco played him the ball in tight quarters to send him in alone against keeper Danny Cepero, but that's about the only bad break that befell the Red Bulls during a ruthless Fire display.

Chicago blew the game open in the 53rd minute when Rolfe tricked his way through midfield and played a diagonal ball out wide that Diego Gutierrez centered and McBride pounded home at the far post. A cross from the right flank by Rolfe fell perfectly for Woolard to head in his first MLS goal with 15 minutes left.

Chicago (13-10-7, 46 points) finishes second even if New England beats Kansas City to tie the Fire on points because Chicago swept the season series between the teams, 3-0. That Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Revs begins next Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

The fifth-place team in the East, which could be D.C. United or New York, will "cross over" to play Western Conference champion Houston in the first round. Eastern champ Columbus will play the fourth-place Eastern team, the identity of which won't be known until early Sunday evening, Eastern Daylight Time. With a win, D.C. finishes fourth. Otherwise, that spot goes to K.C.

Oct. 23 in Bridgeview, Ill.

Chicago 5 New York 2. Goals: Rolfe (King, Mapp) 11, Rolfe 38, Rolfe (Blanco) 44, McBride (Gutierrez, Rolfe) 53, Woolard (Rolfe) 75; Angel (van den Bergh) 32, Kandji (Richards, Leitch) 88.

Chicago -- Busch, Prideaux, Soumare, Conde, Gutierrez, King, Pause, Rolfe (Nyarko, 82), Mapp (Woolard, 74), McBride (Banner, 85), Blanco.

New York -- Cepero, Leitch, Boyens, Cichero, Goldthwaite (Sassano 46), Pietravallo (Kandji 46), Rojas (Richards, 65), Stammler, van den Bergh, Magee, Angel.

Yellow cards: Chicago -- Gutierrez 72; Pietravallo 28, Goldthwaite 42.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Att.: 13,274

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Mauritanian soccer federation president Ahmed Ould Abderrahmane    
"The decision was made due to organizational issues in accordance with the presidents and the coaches ...
MLS: Houston gives Barnes, Bruin and Deric new contracts    
The Houston Dynamo has agreed to new contracts with midfielder Giles Barnes, forward Will Bruin and ...
MLS: Quakes decline six options, may re-sign Stewart    
The options on six players have been declined by the San Jose Earthquakes, though they are ...
MLS: TFC don't pick up options on Bendik and Konopka    
The goalkeeping situation for Toronto FC could look much different in 2016. Among the four players ...
MLS: 'Caps retain 10 players, decline Beitashour's option    
The Vancouver Whitecaps renewed the options on 10 players, including keeper David Ousted, defender Tim Parker ...
What They're Saying: West Brom director Richard Garlick    
"If you walk into a room and there are five people sat around a table your ...
Lloyd and Ellis are nominees for FIFA awards    
Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick led the USA to a 5-2 win over Japan in the ...
Waldrum (still without a contract) returns to T&T women    
When Trinidad & Tobago faces the USA in the first of two friendlies Sunday in Honolulu, ...
What They're Saying: Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva    
"Five years ago, [MLS] paid to [be on television]. In 2010, it was paid $68 million, ...
New U-17 cycle begins on cautionary note    
In past years, the Nike International Friendlies, the annual year-end tournament for the age group that ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives