Jul 31, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT
One game, 100 words or less: A resilient night from New York allowed the Red Bulls to take a point out of Rio Tinto, despot being held to one shot on target. On a layoff from Tim Cahill in the 57th minute, Thierry Henry pulled back João Plata’s first half opener, opening his right-foot on an equalizer from just outside the penalty box. Limiting Real Salt Lake to four tries on target, New York leveraged Henry’s lone shot for a 1-1 draw in Utah.
Real Salt Lake: Plata 18′
New York: Henry 57′
Three moments that mattered:
18′ – Just … don’t let him soon - And Chris Duvall tried, but as the rookie right back leapt to try keep Plata from getting his shot on goal, the RSL attacker slid his try underneath the 22-year-old, beating Luis Robles far post for an early opener.
57′ – We’re going to miss you, Titi - At halftime, ESPN’s Alexi Lalas relayed the feeling around the league: Thierry Henry’s probably done after this season. Just over 12 minutes later, the Red Bulls star was providing a glimpse of what we may miss. Lurking outside the penalty area, Henry was in the perfect spot to jog into a Tim Cahill layoff, opening his right foot onto a casual, precise finish just inside Nick Rimando‘s left post.
77′ – Jamison Olave’s going to get some time off -
Was that a pinch? Or a grab? Regardless, Olave wasn’t punished on the play. Olmes Garcia saw yellow, presumably for simulation.
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Luke Mulholland (Luis Gil 67′), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy; Javier Morales; João Plata, Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley 82′)
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, Roy Miller; Eric Alexander (Ruben Bover Izquierdo 79′), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Ambroise Oyongo; Thierry Henry (Péguy Luyindula 90′); Bradley Wright-Phillips
Three lessons going forward:
1. Both teams showed their quality - Real Salt Lake was the better team on the night, but not so far beyond what you’d expect from a good team playing mid-week at home. To New York’s credit, they were able to get a valuable point despite only generating two or three good chances.
As Jeff Cassar said after the game, if RSL plays like this, they’re going to win more often than not, but they didn’t on Wednesday. A lot of that has to do with New York.
2. The continued importance of Henry - New York had four shots on the night. Two were “set up” by Henry, the other was the playmaker’s goal. If Henry really does ride off into the sunset, pray for the Red Bulls.
3. Real Salt Lake looks like Real Salt Lake - As RSL struggled through late spring, “Cassar’s first test” was the typical refrain around these parts. The first-year coach needed to adjust.
Now, with Kyle Beckerman back in the middle, RSL looks like its normal self. The team’s still missing a forward (and might go get one), but the way it controls games has returned. Maybe Cassar just needed to ride it out?
Where this leaves them:
- The point inches RSL three in front of the West’s peleton. Seattle still leads the conference by five.
- While the point was a good one, New York is still fifth in the Eas, one point behind the New England, Toronto, Columbus dog pile at the edge of the playoffs.
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