EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Seeking his first win as coach and
sporting director for the New York Red Bulls, Bruce Arena made the
tough decision to sit starting forward Edson Buddle for Saturday
night's game against Real Salt Lake.
"I figured it would get a little pressure off him," Arena said
about benching Buddle, who has been a major disappointment since
being acquired from Columbus in March, scoring just three goals
this season and going scoreless in eight straight games.
"He had to figure that he wasn't going to be among the first 11
with the way he has been playing and especially after training (on
Friday)," Arena said. "He was fine with the decision."
Buddle responded to the move in a huge way, scoring three goals
after he entered the game at halftime and leading the Red Bulls to
a 6-0 win in the match played at Giants Stadium.
"I was fully aware of what was going on," Buddle said. "I
wasn't producing. I knew I just had to play a role for the team
coming off the bench."
The Red Bulls (6-7-10) had lost two matches and tied one since
Arena, the former coach of U.S. men's national team, was hired July
18. They scored all their goals in the second half and tied a
franchise record for most goals in a match and an MLS record for
most goals in a half.
And it didn't hurt that Real Salt Lake (8-11-6) was playing a
man down after midfielder Jack Stewart was issued a disputed red
card and ejected for pulling down Red Bulls forward John Wolyniec
from behind on a possible breakaway in the eighth minute.
"I thought the call was extremely soft," Real Salt Lake coach
John Ellinger said. "(Wolyniec) cut in front of Stewart and went
down. To have that happen almost nine minutes into the game with 81
minutes to go on the road, yeah, I'd say it changes things a bit."
Real Salt Lake played well for the rest of the first half, but
things began to unravel when Buddle scored in the 54th minute to
give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead.
"The first half was a super effort on our part, but we just had
a really bad reaction after they scored the first goal," said Real
Salt Lake forward and team captain Jason Kreis. "We should not
have had a letdown like that. Sure, we were in a very difficult
position to be in, but we needed a better reaction. That goal broke
us. It just got uglier and uglier."
Buddle scored again in the 61st minute, when he headed in a
crossing pass from Marvell Wynne, then got his third goal in the
72nd minute, when he beat Real Salt Lake goalie Jay Nolly with a
spinning left-footed shot from 10 yards out.
"We were just able to wear them down," Buddle said. "You
always want to get one with the (opposing) team down a man. I never
thought I'd be able to get three."
The lead grew to 4-0 when another reserve, Jordan Cila, scored
his first goal as a Red Bull, finding the net about 30 seconds
after he entered the match. Todd Dunivant then scored in the 79th
minute and Wolyniec added a goal in the 86th minute to close out
Goalie Tony Meola made two saves in posting his 62nd career
shutout, the most in MLS history.