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June 25, 2008

Echeverry lifts Bulls over Chivas, 1-0


Forward Oscar Echeverry found the back of the net for the Red Bulls in the 22nd minute.
Forward Oscar Echeverry found the back of the net for the Red Bulls in the 22nd minute.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Glendale, Ariz. -- Now, if he could only do this in a game that counts.

Forward Oscar Echeverry connected for his first goal of the year in the 22nd minute to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 victory over Chivas de Guadalajara in a exhibition match Wednesday night.

Echeverry will have an opportunity to score in a match that really matters when the Red Bulls visit Chivas USA, the Mexican team's sister club, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Saturday night.

The win kicked off a long road stretch for the Red Bulls, who must play five away games within 16 days.

"Its a good boost to the confidence of the team," Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio said.

Osorio emptied his bench at halftime and in the second half, giving as many players as much playing time as possible before a crowd of 10, 154 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

"Were very pleased with the result," Osorio said. "The guys played really well, especially in the first half. We had a plan and the plan was to start with a strong starting line and then in the second half, give a chance to everybody. Maybe the quality dropped a little bit, but we still battled and competed against them very well and limited them to very few chances."

The Red Bulls were forced to play the final minutes 48 minutes a man down as midfielder Seth Stammler was slapped with a red card by referee Ricardo Salazar in the 42nd minute. Carlos Mendes had tackled midfielder Edgar Ivan Solis and Stammler kicked the ball into Solis' back.

A shoving match between the two teams ensued before Salazar broke it up before it really got ugly.

Since it was a friendly, Stammler won't have to sit out another match due to a one-game suspension.

Echeverry enjoyed an active first half, taking three shots at the Chivas goal and he finally found the back of the net for his first goal of the year in the 22nd minute.

Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic, fresh off his finest game as a Red Bull, picked up where he left off from Saturday's 1-0 win over FC Dallas as he set up the goal. After taking a pass from defender Hunter Freeman, Ubiparipovic penetrated down the right wing into the penalty area and noticed an open Echeverry standing a step or two to the right of the penalty spot. He sent a pass to Echeverry, who had an easy time slotting past goalkeepeer Luis Miguel Vergara.

"I made the run for Hunter and I saw him receive the ball," Ubiparipovic said. "I ran towards the open space and made the run, got to the ball, crossed the ball back to Oscar . . and he finished it off well."

Said Echeverry: It was a really pretty play by Sinisa. It was like the play was all his and all I had to do was touch it,
leaving me all by myself."

Echeverry, who has been slowed by a knee injury for a good portion of the season, hasn't recorded a goal or an assist in four starts over five MLS games and 311 minutes.

"It was a very good reward for Oscar for all of his hard work, putting his injury aside and battling back into the team." Osorio said. "Im very pleased for him."

Before and after the goal, Echeverry was the Red Bulls' most dangerous player. He had a shot cleared off the line by Chivas defender Antonio Olvera de los Santos with the game barely five minutes old. He then fired a 12-yard shot wide left of the net as he raced down the right side in the 18th minute.

And four minutes after he scored in the 22nd minute, Echeverry put the ball into the back of the net, but he was ruled to be offside.

In his first start for the Red Bulls, rookie John Gilkerson played a solid first half. In fact, he made the defensive play of the half for New York as he raced from the his left fullback position to barely knock the ball away from forward Javier Hernandez Balcazar and out of touch in the 16th minute.


Red Bulls

Zach Thornton, Jeff Parke, Andrew Boyens, Hunter Freeman (Chris Leitch, 45) , John Gilkerson (Ricky Schramm, 88), Carlos Mendes (Gordon Kljestan, 45), Seth Stammler, Sinisi Ubiparipovic (Mike Magee, 45), Dave ven den Bergh (Luke Sassano, 45), Oscar Echeverry (John Wolyniec, 45; Chris Megaloudis, 82), Dane Richards (Danleigh Borman, 35; David Roth, 66).

Chivas de Guadalajara

Luis Michel Vergara (Serio Rodrigiez, 79), Javier Ledexma (Xavier Baez, 53), Hector Reynoso Lopez, Serio Avila (Marco Fabian de la Mora, 45; Julio Cesar Nava, 72), Antonio de los Santos, Omar Esparza, Ramon Morales (Jorge Adrian Cardenas, 78), Edgar Solis, Edgar Mejia Viruete, Javier Hernandez (Omar Arellano Riveron, 45), Antonio Salazar (Jesus Andrews Padilla, 53).
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