Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[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.

GAME SUMMARY
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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Where to Watch European Soccer    
Here are 329 places Soccer America readers recommend where you should go to watch soccer for ...
Mario Goetze's beautiful backward nutmeg on Brecko    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Mario Goetze, Germany's World Cup final hero, not only has a nose for ...
This season's most amazing free kick so far    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] You can hardly blame Hamburg SV goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny for remaining rooted to ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 29] Robbie Keane ran wild in the major-market matchup of Designated Players to keep ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"I've always tried to be a guy who makes the right play in front of the ...
Onus on Cavani for PSG against Barcelona    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Paris St. Germain-Barcelona is the marquee match of Matchday 2 in ...
What They're Saying: Paul McGinley    
"I bounced ideas off him all week, he didn't preach to me, he didn't tell me ...
MLS's nouveau riche dominate millionaire club    
[MAKING A LIST] Big money has been flowing into Major League Soccer. Of the 15 players ...
USA and Brazil to play U-23 match in Brasilia    
[DATEBOOK] The U.S. World Cup team never got to Brasilia, falling in the round of 16 ...
Report: Chivas USA set to go on hiatus after 2014 season    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The news should come as no surprise. Chivas USA, sold back to MLS by ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives