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Undermanned Red Bulls Strike Again

The New York Post summed it up nicely: "The Red Bulls keep losing players and winning games." Missing Ronald Waterreus, right back Hunter Freeman, left back Todd Dunivant and captain Claudio Reyna for the fourth straight game (and looking admittedly shaky at times in defense), the Bulls still blanked the Chicago Fire, 3-0, thanks to another inspired performance from Juan Pablo Angel. The best player on the field by far, Angel helped set up youngster Jozy Altidore with the first and took the other two brilliantly.

After the hosts scored twice in the first three minutes -- tying an MLS record -- a serious hiding looked to be on the cards at Giants Stadium, but the Fire did manage to find its composure after being outclassed in the first 15 minutes. Exploiting the Bulls' makeshift back-line, Fire strikers Wade Barrett and Calen Carr got in behind the defense on several occasions, but too often, the final pass went begging.

It was in the attacking third where the Bulls really excelled. On the first goal, Angel combined brilliantly with john Wolyniec to set up Altidore with a thumping finish from 20 yards with just 55 seconds gone. Two minutes later, Angel juggled a poor clearance and neatly tucked it under Chicago keeper Matt Pickens. "You get lucky once in a while. The start was fabulous," coach Bruce Arena said. "The first 15 minutes of the second half we took everything Chicago could throw at us and were able to hang in there." Angel put the match beyond doubt in the 68th minute when he paused after receiving a scuffled pass from Seth Stammler, off-balancing both his defender and Pickens to slot home his second of the game.

Read the whole story at New York Post »

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