Henry’s goal not enough

New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry, right, of France and Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez go for the ball during the first half of a MLS soccer match, Saturday, May 7, 2011, in Carson, Calif.
AP Photo/Jason Redmond
AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Shane Keyser

Thierry Henry scored his fifth goal of the season, but it wasn’t as his New York Red Bulls lost, 3-2, in an MLS home contest to Chivas USA last Sunday night. Henry received a pass just outside the 18-yard box at the 21st minute from Mexican international Rafael Marquez and scored with a well-placed right-footed shot inside the left post to pull New York even at 1-1 with Chivas USA, which had taken the lead on forward Justin Braun’s unassisted goal in the sixth minute.

It was Henry’s fifth goal in as many games for the Red Bulls, which played one of their worst games of the season. The team seemed lethargic and unorganized as the visitors dominated the midfield from the outset through Simon Elliott and Nick La Brocca. The Red Bulls’ passing was inaccurate too many times, the thinking on the ball was slow as fullbacks and midfielders failed to advance the ball quickly and Chivas’ high pressure defense created Red Bulls turnovers in midfield.

The home side’s sluggishness was evident when the defense seemed to stop playing and allowed Ante Jazic to control Heath Pearce’s long cross, which to the Red Bulls defense, seemed to be heading out of bounds, and redirect the ball across the goal for Braun to score his second goal and a 2-0 lead for Chivas USA in the 30th minute. Five minutes later, the Red Bulls were fortunate to be awarded a penalty kick after forward Luke Rodgers was fouled; midfielder Dwayne De Rosario converted the spot kick, his second goal for the Red Bulls since joining the club about a month ago, and tied the game for the last time, 2-2, before halftime.

Not changed for the Red Bulls in the second half, except for substitutions to bring on forward Juan Agudelo for midfielder Dane Richards, Mehdi Ballouchy for Teemu Taino and Stephen Keel for defender Roy Miller; the only scoring in the period came in the 56th minute from Braun again as he tapped in Alejandro Moreno’s uncontested header from a Simon Elliot cross, which had bounced off the right goalpost; the goal gave Chivas USA the final lead and a well-deserved 3-2 road win.

The New York Red Bulls (4-2-3, 15 pts.) are still atop the Eastern Conference as second-placed Philadelphia Union were winless in two games last week; the Union tied Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-1, last Wednesday and lost, 2-0, to FC Dallas on Saturday. New York travels to Houston Dynamo for a contest at Robertson Stadium for an 8:30 p.m. start on Saturday night, May 21.

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