for this game

Angel's tally helps Red Bulls edge Chivas

Jun 6, 2008 - 2:57 AM By Ralph Ventre PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- New York Red Bulls sporting director Jeff Agoos does not think the team can immediately replace a player like the soon-departing Jozy Altidore. But Juan Pablo Angel did his part for the time being.

Fighting soreness in his back and hamstring, Angel headed home a ball from Dane Richards in the 75th minute to lift the Red Bulls past Chivas USA, 1-0, on Thursday night.

"He is a top professional," New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio said of Angel. "He hasn't been having the best time this season compared to last year, but he is very committed to the club."

In putting an end to Chivas' three-match winning streak, the Red Bulls triumphed for the first time since their 2-1 victory at Los Angeles on May 10, which also came by virtue of a game-winner from Angel.

"It was one of those games where we had to scrap for goals," Angel said. "Important players and names were missing, but we kept it together for a great win."

New York was without the services of its leading scorer, Altidore (left ankle), and captain Claudio Reyna (right hamstring). Angel, who just returned after missing the team's prior two contests, hopes he won't be rejoining that list.

"I was feeling sore in my back and hamstring before the game and it got worse after the goal," Angel said. "I don't think I pulled anything; I'm just sore right now."

An ailing Angel is an especially welcomed sight for Osorio, who lost Altidore to Spain's La Liga. The explosive 18-year-old striker held a pregame news conference to discuss his imminent transfer to Villarreal.

"For us there is nothing I can say," said Osorio. "I was notified by the MLS that they agreed on a transfer fee and there is little we can do now except concentrate on what's best for our club moving forward."

Altidore, who must now agree to personal terms with the club and pass a physical, was eligible to play Thursday.

Although Angel provided the heroics, it was defender Jeff Parke and New York's back line that frustrated one of the league's top scoring teams. Chivas experienced difficulty in penetrating the Red Bulls' defense, and when it did, veteran goalkeeper Jon Conway was there to smother every shot - including a left-footer from 15 yards out by Atiba Harris in the 82nd minute.

"We had six, seven great chances in the second half that we didn't connect on," Chivas head coach Preki Radosavljevic said. "The final pass wasn't good enough or the shot went straight to the goalkeeper. We didn't manage to break them down."