Dallas Soccer DFW

NY Red Bull tops FC Dallas

Published 4/30/2007 9:23:01 AM by Staff from MLSNet.com

The New York Red Bulls came into Thursday night's match at FC Dallas looking to extend their unbeaten streak and also seeking to extend their shutout streak at the start of the season. They accomplished both, leaving Pizza Hut Park with a 1-0 victory and extending their shutout streak to 360 minutes, the longest to start a season in league history.

In the 79th minute, the Red Bulls got all the scoring they would need when Jozy Altidore slid the ball to Dave van den Bergh on the left, and his curling cross found New York defender Hunter Freeman unmarked at the far post, who blasted it home inside the far post.

In the first half, fans were treated to 45 minutes of fairly even play. FCD got the first legitimate chance of the match in the second minute when a Ramon Nunez corner found Hoops center back Clarence Goodson, but his header was right at New York goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus.

The Red Bulls' first shot came in the 15th. After being awarded a free kick about 35 yards from the FCD goal, New York midfielder Seth Stammler launched a rocket but it went to the left of the opposing net.

In the 20th, the visitors won another free kick, this one just outside the FCD area. The kick came after Altidore was tackled hard by FCD midfielder Juan Toja. Van den Bergh took it, but it was right at Hoops goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. The ball did pop free for a second, but FCD left back Chris Gbandi cleared it away from danger.

FCD forward Kenny Cooper got his only shot of the opening half in the 23rd minute, but the second-year Dallas native wasn't able to get much behind it and Waterrus was there for an easy stop.

New York had two more chances to close out the half. In the 21st, Freeman found Dema Kovalenko on a cross at the far post but the Ukranian midfielder's header went harmlessly into the outside of the net. Then in the 37th minute, van den Bergh found Altidore near the far post, but the Red Bulls forward sent a header with his back to goal that went wide left.

Just before the end of the opening frame, FCD captain Carlos Ruiz had his only meaningful touch of the first half. The Guatemalan international worked his way free in the middle of the Red Bulls penalty area, but lost his footing and Waterrus made the stop.

New York nearly drew first blood in the 48th minute. Claudio Reyna took a free kick and just a matter of seconds later, the former U.S. national team star got a great look at netting his first-ever goal in MLS, but his first-time blast went to the left of the FCD goal.

It took the home side some 15 minutes into the second half to generate their its chance. In the 60th minute, FCD right back Drew Moor found Cooper on the right flank and he in turn sent a cross into Nunez, who made a nice turn and dashed toward the near post. But Red Bulls defender Carlos Mendes was there for a tackle to end the threat.

The Red Bulls controlled the run of play for much of the second half and had the opportunities to match. In the 64th, speedy midfielder Dane Richards found a bit of space in the middle of the attacking third and smoked one toward the FCD goal but it went high.

New York mounted another charge in the 74th when Reyna took yet another corner. He found Todd Dunivant far post who tapped the ball, landing at Jeff Parke's feet. Parke hit a shot but Hislop was there to push it over the crossbar.

FCD had their best chance of the night in the 77th minute when they pushed a flurry of attackers toward the Red Bulls' goal. Cooper got a shot off, but Waterreus was there for a diving stop and Mendes cleared the ball out of danger.

But for much of the evening, FCD were unable to break down a Red Bulls defense that showed why it has been the stingiest back line in the league so far this year. The Hoops weren't able to mount much in the way of effective possession, in turn leading to a lack of serious scoring chances for the home team.

New York drove that point home emphatically with a quarter-hour left when they established a new league record by going 344 minutes to start the season without allowing a goal. The previous mark was held by the then-Dallas Burn, a record set in 1999.

After Freeman, a native of the Dallas suburb of Allen who won the starting job ahead of 2006 No. 1 SuperDraft pick Marvell Wynne (since traded to Toronto FC), drove home the van den Bergh cross for the opening goal, FCD had a few chances to pull level.

In the 83rd minute, Ruiz worked his way free to the left of the Red Bulls' goal but saw his blistering shot go high over the opposing goal. Then in the 89th, speedy substitute Dominic Oduro raced up the right side, but his shot hit the side of the opposing net. FCD had one last gasp in the 93rd, but Gbandi sailed his shot over the bar and the Red Bulls had sealed their best start to a season in club history.
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