Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RBNY vs NYCFC : Can We Play You Every Week?

Man, NYCFC suck! And that's alright by me, as the mighty New York Red Bulls took first blood in the inaugural "Hudson River Derby". And that's despite playing a man down for two thirds of the game.

The atmosphere was electric, with Red Bulls fans covering The Cathedral of Football in red and bringing the noise throughout the match. Bradley Wright-Phillips got us going in the 4th minute and it was, mostly, all RBNY from that point. Miazga got his 2nd yellow mid-way through the first half but Mr. Marsch had prepared the team well for, at some point, having to play down a man.

In a way, the Taurine Lads seemed to play better with 10. Our boys sealed the victory when in the 52nd minute BWP struck for his 2nd of the game. It was a fantastic team goal and, to be honest witcha, almost Arsenal-like in execution. BWP should have had his hat-trick in the 66th but NYCFC keeper Saunders came up big, saving his shambolic back-line from further disgrace. Man City-Lite pulled one back late in the game, which made for a nervy finish, but the home team had this all the way.

A statement victory by the mighty Red Bulls that left everyone associated with NYCFC searching for answers. David Villa's "we've hit rock bottom" comment was especially sweet to read. The icing on the cake to what's turning out to be a nightmare season for NYCFC is that Mix Diskerud is sucking it up big time. At the end of the day, all is as it should be.

Please click on the top video for the usual drunken comments/predictions/reaction. You can click here for Matt Kremkau's fantastic pictures from this one (slide show here).

Photo courtesy of Matt Kremkau

What a fantastic time this one was and I'm already looking forward to the away leg @The House That Jeter Built. The Supporter's Sections were in top form. The great tifos and the non-stop support no doubt served as much inspiration for our boys to dig deep and achieve victory. And the twist and shout break was especially epic.

That's it for me! Hope to see you all soon @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). And, remember: This Is An Energy Drink! Ha, ha!

The big viper is outta here!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

RBNY vs Rapids : Fitness and Commitment

We had plenty of both but just couldn't finish clinically to take all three points. It's very disappointing to not get full points @The Cathedral of Football, especially when the opponent was very lackluster. Still, this 1-1 draw gives us another valuable point and preserves our unbeaten start to the season.

Bradley Wright-Phillips should have had a hat-trick, Felipe missed a sitter (he just had to pass it into the goal) and Sacha had this spectacular effort clang off the top corner of the goal. Still, it very well could have gone the other way.

Colorado had at least three breakaways, one of which might have led to Perinelle seeing red. One of their close range efforts was stopped by Robles and then stopped by his right post. Our defense must have been a bit gassed from Sunday's game and Rocket Roy Miller (making his first start after an injury layoff) didn't look like he quite fit into Mr. Marsch's "This is an Energy Drink" system.

Still, the high-pressure, dynamic football was in full effect, again. The Red Bulls had just under 70% of the possession (with even more in the first half) in this one and had several "sitters" to put this one away. Just lacking that little bit of clinical finishing and that understanding between the attacking players (that was there last year with the TH14 led offense). But it's going to come, I know it. But never mind all that! We're unbeaten in six. Playoffs, here we come! Photo courtesy of Matt Kremkau

Please click on the top video for the usual pre-match and half-time drunken comments and predictions. Please click here for full time comments.

A massive away fixture coming up this Saturday up at The Revs and then the first of many games to come against Man City-Lite. I hope to see you all soon @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Get Stuck In Boys!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

RBNY vs Galaxy : Still Marsching On

The unbeaten streak continues! The Red Bulls came back from being 1-nil down very early in this one to pulling off a very lucky 1-1 draw against the defending MLS Champion. A fortunate deflection (off Felipe's face) into the goal and the "Invincible" streak continues. The Galaxy had one chance early and they took it. After that (and before that as well) it was all RBNY.

Bradley Wright-Phillips should have done better with a point blank shot about 5 minutes after the LA goal. Anywhere but straight at the keeper would have seen us level early in this one. Still the Jesse Marsch instituted "Energy Drink" offense/defense was on full display. The Red Bulls pressed the crap out of LA, which led to many, many balls just kicked anywhere by the team from the left coast. Such turn-over led to the Taurine Lads having much of the possession and attacking quickly and frequently. Say it with me: Dynamic, Uptempo football!

A frustrating draw, as LA had only one good chance in this one. Still, might have been the best game the Red Bulls have played so far. What's that you say? We were very lucky and it's not like we won? True, but the team passed the ball around with Arsenal-like precision and the good teams make their own luck. If only there had been just a bit more precision in front of the LA goal, it would have been 3 points to the good and not just 1.

The "Taxi" man is turning into a monster at left back. The Miazga/Perrinelle Center Back tandem might be the best in MLS right now. The Three-Headed Monster of Sacha, Dax & Felipe continues to dominate and progress. Just a bit more of a spark up front is what we need, as BWP seems a bit too isolated without a certain legendary Frenchman by his side. We sort that out and we're off to MLS Cup! But that's getting a bit ahead of ourselves. We've got Colorado mid-week at home, so we Marsch On Lads!

Please click on the video on top for all the usual drunken comments/predictions/analysis. Please click here for a great photo album, courtesy of Matt Kremkau (slide show here).

Another great drunken time with the Lads in the South Ward. The Red Bulls honored the greatest player to ever play here (yeah, sorry Thierry) and I got to take a picture with him (and my kid). Thanks Red Bull!

That's it for me! I hope to see you all this Wednesday, April 29th @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper saying Au Revoir, for now!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

RBNY vs Quakes : Marsch-ing On!

Another victory @The Cathedral of Football and still undefeated! Say it with me: This Is An Energy Drink!!! The High-Energy offense that Jesse Marsch has implemented has this "no-name bunch" flying. The DCU scum tied their game on Saturday, so the mighty New York Red Bulls are Top of The East mates - and with a game in hand.

A first half Red Bulls onslaught, that led to goals from Sacha Klejstan and Mike Grella, sealed the #DosACero against the Quakes. In reality though, the Taurine Bunch should have had 4, 5, 6 even. Sacha with the opening goal, but still not as sharp as a player of his pedigree should be. But, you know it's coming. Once he's actually "on his level", the Red Bulls are going to be really hard to beat.

Another solid-as-a-rock performance from our backline/defensive mids, with Matt Miazga being the stand-out. Mr. Lloyd Sam with another DP-like performance. Unfortunately, he had to come off late in the game, with a bit of a knock, and might be out for a spell.

Two more home games coming up, next Sunday and then the Wednesday after, against LA and Colorado (respectively). Mr. Marsch continues to put his stamp on the style of this team and the commitment that all our guys have shown is staggering. It seems that the days of booting it up-field an hoping for a moment of Thierry Henry/BWP brilliance are long gone. And that's alright by me.

Some actual futbol is being played nowadays @The Cathedral of Football. And the thing is, this team is not firing on all cylinders yet. The prevailing thought in the RBNY locker room is: "we know we can be better". Yeah - you know it's coming.

As the great You Suck Corrales stated after this massive victory: "First time in 19 plus years that I felt like every player we put out is fit, committed and competent". I mean, what more is there to say?

Another fantastic time w/the Lads in the Supporter's sections. A 7pm weekday start meant a light turn out by game time, but the @Cathedral of Football filled in quite nicely as the match went on. And The South Ward really brought it, with non-stop loud support throughout.

Please click on the video to for the usual drunken comments, predictions and goal celebrations. You can click here for half-time and full time comments. Please click here for some great photos, courtesy of Matt Kremkau (slide show here). A bunch of photos here from the RBNY fb page.

I'll beg Mr. Marsch to continue proving everyone wrong (including myself). Long Live Mike Petke but I, for one, am "All-In" with what's happening here. Jesse Marsch's Red Army!!!

^ That man, on A Long Term! - Photo courtesy of Matt Kremkau


Monday, March 23, 2015

RBNY vs DCU : Jesse Marsch's Red Army!

And we're back were we belong! Supporting the New York Red Bulls @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). A massive, dominant performance, in the 2015 Season home opener (against the most hated of rivals) and it's our first victory of the season.

Goals from (who else) Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mr. Lloyd Sam, on either side of the half, ensured that it was three points to the good. The Scum from DC couldn't even score a gift of a penalty awarded to them at the death. But the best part: our team looked pretty damn good. And, look Ma : No Superstars at all!

Even with a makeshift backline (due to injuries), the Red Bulls looked composed, played dynamic up-tempo football, rarely lost their shape and pressed their opponents hard. They're really buying into Jesse Marsch's "This Is An Energy Drink" philosophy of dictating the game from the get-go.

Dax McCarty was a monster in midfield. Absolutely my Man of The Match (with all due respect to the actual MoTM winner Bradley Wright-Phillips), Captain Dax was massive. As important, Lawrence, Miazga, Perrinelle and Duvall looked solid at the back. Yes, even Miazga looked solid at the back.

Felipe also showed flashes of the fight we got from Eric Alexander (broke up the play and started the counter that led to our 2nd goal) as well as the creativity that he can bring to this "Side". On the other side of the coin, our big signing from this off-season was not so good. Seriously, Sacha Klejstan, you need to do better mate!

Please see the video on top for drunken pre-match and half-time comments/predictions. Please click here for full-time comments. You can click here for great album from photographer extraordinaire Matt Kremkau (slide show here)

A great time with the Lads in 133. There were 12 minutes of protest, from the section to our left, and then the Support went on as usual.

This win was another great step to putting a most trying off-season behind us. As the team has, I've bought-in. I'm in Jesse Marsch's Red Army now. Long Live Mike Petke but he's not here anymore. Time to move on and support the team. Get Stuck In Lads!


Monday, March 9, 2015

SKC vs RBNY : Starting Off With Abang

And we're back! The New York Red Bulls started their latest quest for that elusive MLS Cup with Abang (on the bench) and a massive point on the road, thanks to a 1-1 draw @Sporting KC.

A quite evenly matched game it was until the 50th minute when KC's Benny Feilhaber crossed to a wide open Ike Opara, who headed the ball past a hapless Luis Robles. Time for the Red Bulls new Center Back tandem to work on not getting caught so much out of position. The Red Bulls weren't down for very long, as the Lloyd Sam took it upon himself to curl in a wonder-equalizer just 4 minutes later.

The Red Bulls then found themselves with a bit of on-the-road luck. Dominc Dwyer, no doubt thinking about the party at his house after this one, missed a couple of sitters (one in the 59th minute is very difficult to believe - see the extended highlights above). The good guys then found themselves a man up, as Matt Besler was shown his 2nd yellow after a challenge on BWP. Alas, the Taurine Bunch could not take advantage of numerical superiority on the field and had to settle for a road point. I'll take it!

Please see the top of this post for our first drunken video of the season (with a special appearance by Seeing Red NY's Mark Fishkin).

A fantastic day out with the Lads (pictured above celebrating Mr. Lloyd Sam's golazo), fist at Catas then at the STH viewing party @The Cathedral of Football. Next weekend we're off and then it's DCU for the home opener on March 22nd. We're back! Let's 'ave it Lads and C'mon You Red Bulls!

The big viper is outta here!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Once More, Unto the Breach

Let the games begin!
Photo: Matt Kremkau
That's right, dear friends, we have arrived at First Kick: 2015. By any reasonable measure, RBNY had a successful, if ultimately unsatisfying 2014 season. A tough loss at New England, where the Red Bulls were without the services of striker extraordinaire Bradley Wright Phillips due to yellow cards, prevented the team's second ever MLS Cup appearance. But making it to the Eastern Conference final was a great accomplishment that had the added bonus of a great loss/win in DC that knocked out the Scum out of the playoffs.

But that was last year and an almost entirely different team. As we all know, Ali "Boumaye" Curtis and his BFF Jesse Marsch are now in control, having unceremoniously ousted fan favorite Coach Mike Petke. On the pitch, RBNY fans won't see EZ Does IT, Ambroise "I Was Never Under Contract" Oyongo, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, and other familiar faces.

Looking past the Petke-related ire for Curtis, fans will see that he has done a pretty respectable job bringing in new faces. Sacha Kljestan, Felipe Martins, Ronald Zubar, Mike Grella, Sal Zizzo and Leo Stolz are a few of the additions who we all hope will prove even the most intransigent naysayer wrong and get the team into the final this year.

So with all these changes, what does the Viper's Nest Expect, Fear and Hope? Great question, and it's how we're kicking off the blog this season.

EXPECTATIONS--What should happen this year?

The Big Viper: "I expect RBNY to make the playoffs.  I don't think that's too much to ask for as 6 teams from each conference make the playoffs.  Henry is gone, yes, but we still have last season's Golden Boot Winner.  Also, the midfield has (theoretically) gotten way more creative w/the additions of Sacha, Felipe and (Hermann Trophy Winner) Leo Stolz.  You add Lloyd Sam and Peguy to that lot and there will surely be many scoring opportunities for BWP and whoever his strike partner/s may be.  A wise addition to our DP roster over the Summer will go a long way to ensuring another Playoff appearance for our team."

Matt Conroy, aka Who Shot Sam: "I expect that we will add a DP over the summer. It's nice to think we could win on the cheap but I think they will realize by June that more talent is needed, especially up front. If Wright Phillips gets injured or suspended the replacements don't look too great - Abang, Grella. Maybe they've been looking for a player and just haven't found him yet but we're paper thin at forward."

Tom Faust: "I expect the team will actually deliver on Curtis and Marsch's promise of playing uptempo soccer.  We've all heard this before, but I think we've seen glimpses in the preseason and the boys seem to be aligned and committed to the vision. RBNY seems to have the horses, now it's time to run."

FEARS--What's a worst-case scenario?

Viper: "I fear the Red Bull Powers That Be will fire Mr. Marsch if he doesn't have immediate success.  We'll then be subject to another blowing up of our team and the Cup failure will continue.  I've liked the moves that have been made which so far.  The intent is there to transform this team from a very direct style, with (mostly) no creativity in the middle (dating back to the Juan Carlos Osorio days) to a team where the creative options are plentiful.  Will RB management let this play out or will Marsch be shown the door faster than the 1 1/2 years that Bruce Arena lasted here?  That remains to be seen.

Matt: "I fear that we will get off to a poor start and the season will devolve into a lot of infighting between fans and the front office. We start on the road again, and our first home match is a big rivalry game. How will people react if we start 0-3 or 0-4? Not too well, I fear. It could make the Town Hall look like a child's tea party." Editor's note: That's crazy. How can you think such a thing would happen?

Tom: "That MCFCNYCFC dominates us and excels in their debut season. Look, I know that I should be focused on what might go wrong at RBNY, but after all the smack talk over 2+ years and RBNY's flailings for 20, what happens up in the Boogie Down this year will directly reflect on the Red Bulls' success. As much as it pains me to say so, I can see a scenario where we don't fill RB Arena for MCFCNYCFC and then they beat us at home. Twice. On top of that, if MC Light is atop the East and, god forbid, makes a run at the cup, Red Bull Nation would implode. "

HOPES--Where do you hope Red Bull beats the odds this season?

Viper: "I hope RBNY wins the US Open Cup.  Why not?  If Mr. Marsch meant what he said on the Seeing Red NY Podcast (about taking the Open Cup seriously) and what the taste of such Cup success can do to a player's desire for greater Glory, there is no reason we can't field our starting 11 for every USOC game all the way to the Final.  MLS Cup be dammed, these guys should be gunning for USOC Glory this year."

Matt: "I hope that the back line holds together. Curtis and Marsch are relying on a lot of journeymen to get it done - guys like Zubar and Perrinelle who are basically cast-offs from Ligue 1. Maybe they'll get the job done and cut down on our tendency to surrender penalties and commit defensive brain farts at inopportune moments. Still, defense is a major question mark."

Tom: "I hope to Zeus that Felipe Martins shows 75% of the brilliance in his highlight reel on the pitch. Then I can stop moaning about the lack of vertical passing, and won't have to listen to Big Viper whine about our need for a creative #10. To see the team taking passes in stride and running onto through balls, rather than playing with their backs to the goal and allowing the opposing team to set up a strong defense, would be a dream come true."

So, there you have it. Now it's time to break some Sporks in half! COME ON YOU RED BULLS!!!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

DCU vs RBNY : Bring On The Revs!

Despite a 2-1 away loss at RFK, we're through to the Eastern Conference Finals! The Red Bulls got that all-important away goal, through a moment of Thierry Henry magic (with a great Peguy finish) and we're off to face the Revs (who finished off Columbus today). The Man w/the Sweater was proud and we shall soon see if he can continue this magic run.

Thank you DC United! You should be proud of your worst-to-first season, a great effort, yadda, yadda, yadda... Yeah, Ok! But, you know, there's always next season and you can keep hoping for that Stadium hand-out you're looking for. Also, 2014 is not a complete loss ;)

Alrighty Then! This was the greatest road trip ever! Over 1250 Red Bulls fans made the trip down and filled that crumbling wreck of a stadium with noise (and with "Twist & Shout" as well). That's how you do it!

Please see the video top for the usual drunken comments/predictions. You can click here for Matt Kremkau's photo album (slide show here). Official team photos are here.

That's it for me. It was a great time out with the Lads and here's hoping this improbable run continues. I hope to see you all in two weeks time @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outta here!


Monday, November 3, 2014

RBNY vs DCU : "Le Roi" Unstoppable

The New York Red Bulls managed to draw first blood in the opening-leg of their Eastern Conference semi-final series, stunning the visiting DC United with a convincing 2-Nil victory. A close to unstoppable Thierry Henry, once again, pulled the strings in the midfield with Bradley Wright-Phillips and Peguy Luyindula taking full advantage of the French maestro's sublime vision.

After the game, TH14 drove home the point that nothing is won yet. Our team will have to travel down to RFK (get your away tickets here) and will hope to keep DC United off the scoreboard and, why not, score an away goal (or two). The Manager will hope his Bulls will show the same intensity and aggressiveness at RFK, that was on display @The Cathedral of Football this past Sunday.

That's the great You Suck Corrales above, (turned to the wall in back of section 133) unable to look at the field during the last 3 minutes of added time and praying to the Soccer Gods the we would not concede in the dying seconds. In my 19 seasons of following this team, I've known this dread many, many times. At "half-time" of this home-and-away series, we're very close to advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. So close, but yet so far. That said, I have confidence that we can get a result down at that crumbling mess of a stadium in this great Nation's Capitol. The TVN crew will be there next Saturday, suffering along with several hundred of our closest friends.

Please click on the video up top for the usual drunken comments/predictions (with several special guests dropping by at half-time). That's it for me. I hope to see a bunch of you down at RFK. Let's 'ave it you Red Bulls! Git In Lads!


Friday, October 31, 2014

RBNY vs SKC : That's So NOT Metro

What can you say, except that the finish we witnessed vs Sporting Kansas City was so NOT Metro - at all. It was a "Reverse Metro finish" to this one, with the Red Bulls, seemingly dead on the banks of the Passaic, coming from behind with two late goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips. BWP has been "The Ultimate Scoring Machine" for us this season and his 2 goals in this one were massive. We move on to the playoffs proper, with a home-and-away Eastern Conference semi-final series, against DC United coming right up.

Ok Red Bulls fans! This is it. Get to the Cathedral of Football on Sunday, be loud and Will this team to victory. No excuses! The Red Bulls are running a promotion for Zone 8 ticket. Only $12.50 with promo code RBTP14. Just Click Here and get In Lads!

A fantastic showing by the South Ward. All three Supporter's Groups were in harmony yesterday, singing for our boys as it should be - as one. Hopefully this new-found unity will continue.

Please click on the video on top for the usual drunken comments and predictions. I managed to capture the game-winnah so you can also watch us going absolutely mental right after. The great Matt Kremkau was away but here's a great photo set from photographer extraordinaire Bob Larson (slide show here)

That's it for me! I hope to see you all this Sunday (4PM) @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Right now I'm off to the hospital as my Metro Playoff Fever is very, very high. Ha, ha! C'mon you Red Bulls!

Monday, October 20, 2014

RBNY vs Columbus Crew : Au Revoir Thierry

So, our mighty Red Bulls needed a to win their final home match of the season to have any hope of avoiding a play-in game or, at the very least, playing said play-in game at home. Unfortunately for us, our mighty Red Bulls weren't so mighty this past Sunday and allowed the visitors from OH to boss them around the RBA pitch to no end (A Crew player I've never even heard of scored not one, but two goals after only scoring one in his previous 14 MLS appearances). This result virtually assures our team having to play that mid-week play-in game away (either at Columbus or SKC).

The main thing to contemplate is that this very well could have been Thierry Henry's last game ever @The Cathedral of Football. The Red Bulls need to win at SKC in order to come in, at the very least, in 4th place. That would mean a home play-in game for us. Also, if Columbus loses to Philadelphia, we could conceivably come in 3rd, which would mean we would be in the playoffs proper. A third or fourth place finish would mean that we could pay homage to "Le Roi" at least one more time before he sails off into the sunset. But since we're usually total crap away, I can't see us winning at SKC and I can't see us winning an away play-in game (either at SKC or Columbus). But if this was, indeed, TH14's final home game for us, it was nowhere near a proper send-off. In fact, I would deem this a "That's So Metro" type moment. In other words, just about the correct ending for us.

Au Revoir Thierry! Vous êtes Le Roi ! Yeah, yeah, I know. Minor miracles do occur from time to time (and a mid-week game might mean these guys are not exhausted from Friday/Saturday night partying in NYC/Hoboken), so let us pray.

Please see the video above for the usual drunken comments/predictions. You're in a for a treat, as there is another shocking Matt Conroy rant in the (almost) full-time comments. Matt's a Top Bloke and "a prescient man" as this article points out. Another Top Bloke named Matt Kremkau is a fantastic photographer. Please click here to check out his photo album from this one (you can click here for the slide show). Many thanks to the rest of the fellows who stand with me in the usual spot at the top of 133 for another season of great drunken fun. We'll do it again next year.

That's it for now and it actually might be it until next season. Whatever the case, we'll see you soon enough @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outta here!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Red Bulls Beat TFC (Again), Clinch Playoff Spot a Day Later

Bover celebrates the Red Bulls' second goal

The New York Red Bulls have hardly done it the easy way, but they eventually found their way into the 2014 MLS Playoffs, thanks to a combination of their 3-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena and DC United's victory over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

First half goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, Ruben Bover and Dax McCarty combined to make it a fairly comfortable evening for RBNY, though they made things interesting by conceding a second-half goal to Jonathan Osorio and sitting back in their own half for large stretches of the game. Still, the result was never in doubt, and if Wright-Phillips had managed to convert just a few of the golden chances he had in the second 45 minutes, the final score would have been much more lopsided. The English striker continues to sneak up on the all-time MLS single season scoring record of 27 goals, but his pace has slowed considerably. Roy Lassiter may be able to rest easy after all.

Now the Red Bulls go into their final two matches - home to Columbus this Sunday afternoon then away to Kansas City - playing to avoid the first round play-in game and get a little added rest.

For Matt Kremkau's awesome photo set, click here. I was lucky enough to be down on the field with Matt and his brother before the match, as the unparalleled Michelle French once again sang the anthems. Here's a video of us goofing on her sound check. We're idiots...

We also had the immense pleasure of meeting one of American soccer's true gentleman, ex-Cosmos legend and current RBNY broadcast color man Shep Messing, before the game in the club lounge. Shep talked a bit about the Red Bulls, gave us some great stories about his Cosmos and Harvard days, and was just an all-around great guy. Most mind-blowing was his confession that he has watched and enjoys our stupid Viper's Nest videos - and would like to appear on one. Shep - let us know where and when and we will make it happen!

Meeting Shep

And here are pre- and post-game comments. In the incomparable Viper's absence, we did our best.