Red Bulls Defeat Union in Qualifying Match

April 28, 2010 6:26:22 AM PDT
Conor Chinn scored two first-half goals and the New York Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Tuesday night in the opening round of Major League Soccer qualifying for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Chinn gave the Red Bulls the lead in the 16th minute, punching in the rebound after his first attempt caromed off Philadelphia goalie Chris Seitz. The rookie forward, selected in the third round of this year's draft, scored again in the 41st minute, converting a crossing pass from Luke Sessano.

"He just runs for the full 90 minutes," New York coach Hans Backe said of Chinn. "He doesn't give the defenders a break. And he ends up scoring the strangest goals. I don't know how he does it. But that's the one thing we've learned about Conor is that he's always good for goals. He's still learning, but he definitely has a future."

Chinn said he didn't know he was going to play until Backe was going through pregame strategy.

"That's when it kind of set in that I was going to be in the game," he said. "I tried not to think about it too much, because I would have put some undo pressure on myself. I just tried to stay as mobile as possible and have fun out there."

Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 68th minute for Philadelphia, which also lost 2-1 to New York in a regular-season MLS game on Saturday.

The Red Bulls rested most of their starters, including striker Juan Pablo Angel, midfielder Joel Lindpere and defender Mike Petke. Philadelphia also featured its reserves, although top scorer Le Toux entered in the second half.

Backe said he was so impressed with the play of his backups, especially Chinn and defender Toni Stahl, that he plans on going with the reserves again when New York hosts New England on May 12 in the next qualifying round.

"Toni dominated the game in the first half," Backe said. "He had time and space there and his timing was perfect. He was that good. It's very encouraging to see the young players compete like this. It's a good sign for us in the future."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)