The New York Red Bulls continued its recent strong offensive output with a three-goal first half performance en route to its third-straight victory of the season and first road triumph – a 4-1 win over the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium Saturday afternoon. Forward Kenny Cooper and Major League Soccer Player of the Month Thierry Henry tallied two goals apiece, as New York improved to nine points off a 3-2-0 record, good for second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Red Bulls lead MLS in goals scored with 14, as Henry is first in the Golden Boot race with seven while Cooper is second with six. Between Henry and Cooper, for only the second time in club history, New York has had a multi-goal scorer in three consecutive matches. Henry has scored all of his seven goals in the past three games.
New York had the first opportunity of the match in the second minute. After Dax McCarty earned the team’s first corner kick, Rafa Marquez’s ensuing delivery was played to Mehdi Ballouchy, who blasted it wide of the right post.
However, New York found the back of the net just seconds later. Henry had possession in midfield and drifted a pass to Cooper in the penalty box. Cooper was able to chest it down, turned and fired a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum for his fifth goal of the year.
Cooper doubled his tally for the day in the 13th minute. Midfielder Dane Richards drove towards goal and took a shot that deflected off Crew defender Eric Gehrig. Cooper got underneath the ball first and nodded it into the bottom right corner of the goal mouth.
The Red Bulls controlled the first half and Richards nearly had New York’s third, outracing Shaun Francis on the right wing and hitting it just over the crossbar. Henry could have earned a goal of his own in the 37th minute, heading a Cooper pass on target. Gruenebaum was there though to parry it away.
Henry left no room for error three minutes later, tallying his sixth goal in his last three games. Roy Miller knocked a well weighted pass into Henry’s path and the French forward opened his hips and curled it into the side netting.
Columbus had two quality chances in the opening half. In the 8th minute, Emilio Renteria quickly threw the ball in to an open Eddie Gaven and his shot was deflected by a diving Ryan Meara. Then, with 11 minutes left to play in the interval, Kirk Urso’s free kick found Olman Vargas, who flicked it high.
In the 63rd minute, Renteria was first to a loose ball in the penalty box and fired it just past the left post. Soon after, substitute Ethan Finlay was sent free on the right side of the field and his shot was blocked by Meara. Urso came inches from putting the hosts on the scoreboard, as his dipping shot from outside the box pinged off the crossbar.
Columbus made the score 3-1 in the 89th minute when Chad Marshall was first to the ball and headed in an Urso corner kick delivery. That scoreline was short lived however, as Henry racked his second goal of the game a minute later, controlling and then hammering a Joel Lindpere cross into the back of the net with his right foot.
New York Red Bulls 4, Columbus Crew 1
April 7, 2012 – Crew Stadium – Columbus, OH
MLS Regular Season
NY: Kenny Cooper 5 (Thierry Henry 4) 3’
NY: Kenny Cooper 6 (unassisted) 13’
NY: Thierry Henry 6 (Roy Miller 2) 40’
CLB: Chad Marshall (Kirk Urso 1) 89’
NY: Thierry Henry 7 (Joel Lindpere 1) 90’
CLB: Bernardo Anor (caution) 53’
NY: Stephen Keel (caution) 59’
CLB: Andy Gruenebaum (caution) 83’