for this game

Red Bulls 4, Earthquakes 1

May 9, 2009 - 3:09 AM By JIM HAGUE STATS MLS Correspondent

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (STATS) - Before the MLS season began, New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio said Jorge Rojas was his best player.

Friday night, the former Argentine World Cup standout finally lived up to that billing, scoring his first two MLS goals within a six-minute span of the first half.

"I'm very happy to have the chance to finally score," Rojas said after leading the Red Bulls to a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night. "It's been a long time. I've been working very hard to get the chance to score and help this team."

The Red Bulls also received a goal and two assists from forward Macoumba Kandji.

"I'm getting the chance to show the United States and the world what I can do," said Kandji, a native of Senegal. "I feel like this could be the beginning of something special. It had been very frustrating for all of us, not being able to score goals."

The Red Bulls (2-5-2), who snapped a three-game losing streak, set a franchise record with their four first-half goals. They had totaled just five in their first eight matches, and all nine of their goals this season have come at home.

San Jose (1-5-2) took its third straight loss and is 0-4-2 during its current six-match winless streak.

Rojas got things going in the seventh minute. His direct free kick from 30 yards missed teammate Kevin Goldthwaite's header attempt, but took a high bounce off the FieldTurf surface and eluded San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

"They gave us the chance to open the game with the free kick," Rojas said. "Of course, I was looking for someone else to put it in, but the goalie came out and it went in. I was definitely looking for the pass."

In the 13th minute, it was Rojas again, this time putting a header past Cannon off a fine crossing pass from Kandji.

The Red Bulls pushed the lead to 3-0 on Juan Pablo Angel's third goal of the season in the 21st minute, when Angel knocked in another cross from Kandji.

Kandji made it 4-0 in the 40th minute when he unleashed a rocket from about 45 yards that skidded past Cannon.

"That was the prettiest goal I've had since I've been here," Kandji said. "I was proud of it. It was a huge win for us. We really needed to get this one."

After enduring such a tough stretch, Osorio was pleased with his team's performance, beginning a four-game homestand with a win.

"I was very pleased to see Jorge play so well," Osorio said. "I think Mac has shown some good signs of understanding of what we tell him behind closed doors, that he has to limit his tricks like heel passes and play in a free way, but not a casual way.

"This was the first time in nine games that we were all together and I'm hoping that it will give us good dividends. When you have seven or eight players playing well, we're a good team."

San Jose got its lone goal in the final minute of the first half when Ryan Johnson scored his third of the season.

Earthquakes defender Chris Leitch, a former member of the Red Bulls, was upset with his team's performance.

"I don't think it could be anything but disappointing," Leitch said. "We let up four goals in the first half. You don't need to say much more than that. We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror. I don't think there's anyone on this team that had a good match. We couldn't stop a thing in the first half."

The announced crowd of 8,042 was the lowest home attendance for the Red Bulls since May 13, 2007, when the team drew 7,802 against Colorado.






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