for this game

Toronto FC 0, Red Bulls 1

Aug 12, 2010 - 3:09 AM HARRISON, N.J. (AP) -- Joel Lindpere was faced with a tough decision this week, deciding whether to travel to his native Estonia and play for his national team in a Euro Championship qualifying match against the Faeroe Islands or remain in the United States and play for the New York Red Bulls in a key MLS game against Toronto FC.

Lindpere chose the latter - and it worked out well, as he scored his first goal since March 27, giving the Red Bulls a crucial 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

"I made this decision on my own," Lindpere said. "I spoke with both coaches and I think this was the smart decision. I could have gone home to play and see my family. I haven't seen my family in a long time. I thought about all of those things, but I thought of spending a lot of time on the plane."

The win enabled the Red Bulls, playing in their first MLS home game in over a month, to snap a five-game winless streak and improve their mark to 9-6-4 overall, remaining in second place in the Eastern Conference standings with 31 points. Toronto FC fell to 7-7-5 overall and 26 points.

It was the Red Bulls' first home win since defeating Chivas USA on June 5. Their last home match was July 10 against D.C. United, a game that ended in a scoreless draw. It was Lindpere's first goal since the season opener March 27 against Chicago.

The two teams took very few chances in the first 20 minutes of the game, trying to feel each other out. The Red Bulls had the better of the action in the midfield, but had very few scoring opportunities.

In the 23rd minute, Thierry Henry set up the match's first goal by holding the ball for a few seconds, drawing three Toronto defenders to him. Henry then passed it back to Seth Stammler, who put the ball in front for the streaking Lindpere, who knocked it in off a brief scramble for the ball. Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei had no chance to stop the shot and New York had a 1-0 lead that held up for the remainder of the match. It was Lindpere's first goal since the season opener March 27 against Chicago.

"It was okay, but I'm not the kind of guy who worries about scoring goals," Lindpere said. "We needed the win and the three points. That was more important."

Red Bulls goalkeeper Greg Sutton, appearing in his first regular season MLS match, made two saves to record his first shutout for the Red Bulls. Sutton was once the starting goalkeeper for Toronto FC. Sutton was once the starting goalkeeper for Toronto FC, where he collected seven shutouts over three seasons.

"I think the defense did a good job of limiting their scoring opportunities," Sutton said. "You have to prepare yourself when you get a shot to play. I think it's fairly ironic that I get my first start against Toronto. That gave me a little added motivation."

Toronto had a good chance to tie the score 7 minutes later, when defender Nick Garcia unleashed a shot from 40 yards out that sailed over the crossbar.

Henry was replaced at halftime by Sinisa Ubiparipovic. He said he was nursing a sore hamstring that limited his playing time to just 20 minutes against Chicago last Sunday.

"I knew I wasn't going to be able to play the whole game," Henry said. "I just tried to go out there with the opportunity to help us out. I played 45 minutes. I wasn't expecting anything bad."

The second half featured very few scoring chances for either team. Red Bulls captain Juan Pablo Angel, playing in the second half as the lone forward after Henry departed, had a wide open header in the 75th minute that just trickled wide of the goal. Toronto FC's best chance at scoring took place in the 83rd minute, when O'Brian White's shot from inside the penalty area sailed over the crossbar.

The Red Bulls have another regular season home match Saturday night against Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy.