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Red Bulls 2, FC Dallas 2: Ballouchy Scores In Debut

FRISCO, TX (Sept. 16, 2010) New Red Bulls midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy scored in his club debut as New York fought back from one-goal deficits twice to earn a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas Thursday night. Ballouchy, acquired on Tuesday from the Colorado Rapids, knocked home a Joel Lindpere cross in first half stoppage time to tie the game at 1, as New York eventually improved to 41 points off a 12-8-5 record.

Midfielder Dane Richards nearly put the visitors in front in the ninth minute after he brushed off FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez, streaked inside the penalty box and fired a near post shot that beat goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and clanged off the upright. Moments later, Richards again had an attempt off a quickly-taken free kick, but his shot skied over the bar.

Richards tested FC Dallas a third time in the 13th minute. New York forward Thierry Henry dribbled to the endline and delivered a deep cross to Richards, whose one-time bouncing volley bound for goal was headed off the line by defender Zach Loyd.

Despite New York’s early chances in a first half which saw it out-shoot the host, 8-1, FC Dallas took the lead in the 23rd minute. FC Dallas defender Heath Pearce curled in a cross to Eric Alexander, who re-directed the ball to an open Milton Rodriguez. Rodriguez snapped his header into the back of the net from close range.

The Red Bulls went up a man six minutes after FC Dallas’ goal when Brek Shea slid in dangerously on Chris Albright and referee Hilario Grajeda showed the midfielder a red card. New York took advantage in first half stoppage time and it was Ballouchy who made an immediate impact in his New York debut. Roy Miller found an open Lindpere racing down the left wing and the Estonian drove a low cross into the box that was knocked in from close range by Ballouchy.

FC Dallas almost took the lead again in the 53rd minute, as Alexander created space for himself in the box and rifled a shot that beat Coundoul and slammed off the left post. Soon after, Ballouchy volleyed a Henry header towards goal and substitute goalkeeper Dario Sala, who came on for an injured Hartman, fisted it away.

Alexander would get another chance in the 68th minute and this time, did re-gain the lead for the hosts. The FC Dallas midfielder cut through the Red Bulls’ back line and slotted it past Coundoul to make it 2-1.

However, the Red Bulls would tie the game for the second time in the match with eight minutes left off an own goal. Lindpere swung in a low pass that was headed into the FC Dallas net by Benitez.

The Red Bulls head on the road for their next match, traveling to Carson, CA to take on Landon Donovan, David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, Sept. 24 at 11:00 PM ET (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; Radio: WADO 1280 AM).