for this game

Blanco, Barrett fuel Fire past Red Bulls

May 25, 2008 - 10:10 PM By Simon Lewis PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - Mexican superstar Cuauhtemoc Blanco tore a much-vaunted defense to shreds with a goal and three assists to propel the Chicago Fire to a crushing 5-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

The two meanest defensive units in Major League Soccer had begun this match with the Fire conceding just five goals so far this season at an average of 0.63 per game. For their part, the Red Bulls boasted an 0.86 goals against average.

Chad Barrett had two goals, and Chris Rolfe, Gonzalo Segares and Blanco also tallied for the Fire (6-2-1), who pulled into a three-way tie with the idle Columbus Crew (6-2-1) and New England Revolution (6-3-1) atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Jozy Altidore had the lone goal for the Red Bulls (3-2-3), who dropped their first match at home this season.

"It's hard not to look past Blanco with three assists and a goal," Fire coach Denis Bramlett said when asked for his thoughts on the keys to victory in 75-degree temperature at a sun-drenched Giants Stadium. "As a group, though, I think it was a good performance all around, especially on the road.

"You could argue that when we played New England a few weeks ago at their place was a complete performance, but today was just giving everything on the (artificial) turf and in the heat in New York. At this stage of the season, it was definitely a big performance."

It was uncomfortable viewing for Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who had left Chicago in the offseason to take over at New York.

Having been ordered from the dugout last week during the 1-1 home draw with Kansas City, Osorio had to watch Sunday from an executive box as the Fire dominated their hosts throughout.

The rout started in the seventh minute when from inside the center circle Blanco spotted a run from Barrett into the Red Bulls penalty area and sent the ball over the top of the home defense into the left side of the box. Barrett latched onto the pass, shook off chasing defender Hunter Freeman and fired left-footed past New York goalkeeper Jon Conway.

"We got off to a very bad start and they had a goal," Osorio said. "However, I will take responsibility on that.

"Credit to them, we played against the best attacking team in this league at the moment. We conceded a very early goal and after that I think it was too much of a game for some of our players. We were a very easy team to play against."

New York had chances, when Claudio Reyna marked his return after two games out with a calf injury with a shot over the bar in the 29th minute. He also had free kick from the right 10 minutes later that picked out an unmarked Jeff Parke on the six-yard line, only for the midfielder to send his glancing header past the far post.

The Red Bulls failed to threaten again before halftime to send Chicago in with a 1-0 lead at intermission.

The Fire soon doubled their advantage after the restart when Bakary Soumare swept a ball out of defense to Blanco on the right. The Mexican chipped the ball across the face of the goal to Rolfe, who headed home with ease at the back post in the 48th minute.

Blanco got his name on the scoresheet with a 54th-minute penalty kick and fed Justin Mapp for a cross from the left that found Barrett, who headed home at the near post.

Three minutes later, Blanco corner's was met by a Chicago head which sent the ball crashing against the post. Segares pounced on the rebound for the Fire's fifth goal of the afternoon.

Red Bulls substitute Altidore struck in the 73rd with a near-post header from a Freeman cross, but it was a limp response to the Blanco firepower.








  • MLS
    CHICAGO 5
    NY RED BULLS 1 FINAL

    May 25 4:58 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 5
    NY RED BULLS 1
    NY RED BULLS GOAL: Jozy Altidore in the 73rd minute

    Fire 5, Red Bulls 1  2nd - 73'May 25 4:38 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 5
    NY RED BULLS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Gonzalo Segares in the 62nd minute

    Fire 5, Red Bulls 0  2nd - 62'May 25 4:26 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 4
    NY RED BULLS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Justin Mapp in the 60th minute

    Fire 4, Red Bulls 0  2nd - 60'May 25 4:24 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 3
    NY RED BULLS 0
    CHICAGO PENALTY GOAL: Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the 53rd minute

    Fire 3, Red Bulls 0  2nd - 53'May 25 4:16 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 2
    NY RED BULLS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Chris Rolfe in the 48th minute

    Fire 2, Red Bulls 0  2nd - 48'May 25 4:12 PM


  • MLS
    CHICAGO 1
    NY RED BULLS 0 HALFTIME

    May 25 4:11 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    NY RED BULLS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Chad Barrett in the 7th minute

    Fire 1, Red Bulls 0  1st - 7'May 25 3:14 PM