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.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Union vs Red Bulls : Soggy Poop In Chester

Another massive road trip down to Chester, PA started off with the always fantastic Kegs & Eggs pre-match tailgate @The Cathedral of Football. Then there was another epic bus ride down.

Of course, the actual game ended in much disgrace, as these fucking clowns allowed a Philadelphia Union side full of reserves to steal a point at the death. But, hey, at least Mr. Petke was fired up.

Alrighty then! A CCL match in Montreal is up next (without several starters) and then it's back to League action against Seattle. I'm told another 8 points should see us into the playoffs so let us pray.

Please see the video above for the usual drunken comments/predictions. Please click here for my photo album (slide show here). Hope to see you all next Saturday @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Later!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RBNY vs Impact: Le Roi & The Guv'nor

It was Fortress RBA again as the New York Red Bulls posted a comeback victory to sink the bottom of the East Montreal Impact even deeper into MLS oblivion.

The Henry/BWP strike partnership continues to bear fruit as "Le Roi" scored as lovely a brace as you've ever seen him score. The other half of that partnership, "The Guv'nor" Bradley Wright-Phillips, continued his epic, League Leading goal scoring form, with a brace of his own. He's now shattered the all-time MetroBulls record (previously held by RBNY Legend Juan Pablo Angel) with his 20th goal this season. Clearly inspired by TH14, long may the "BWP Effect" continue.

No respite for the Red Bulls, as they are back in action tonight, in Concacaf Champions League action. Ryan Meara will be in goal and new man Saer Sene, who made his RBNY debut as a late sub for TH14, should make his starting debut. One thing is for sure, a win is an absolute must tonight if RBNY has any serious aspirations to get past the first CCL round.

Check out the above video for the usual drunken comments/predictions. Please click here for Matt Kremkau's photos form this one (slide show here).

Hope to see you all tonight @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Git in RBNY!!!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Viper's Nest BPL 14/15 Season Kick-Off Extravaganza

No Red Bulls game this weekend, so we got together to celebrate the start of the 14/15 Prem season (mates). The Viper's Nest crew took a ride into deepest Dutchess County NY, to the picturesque Village of Pawling, home to the great Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam).

I was a great day out! Several games were watched, lots of beer, scotch and lots of BBQ meats were consumed. There was even a drunken kick-around that quite possibly led to an ACL/MCL/Menicus injury (get well soon Kevin) and an Ice Bucket Challenge (or two).

Anyway, a great start to the season as Man U lost and Arsenal pulled out a 2-1 victory, with late goal heroics from "Welsh Jesus" Aaron Ramsey (there we are, above, celebrating the winnah). Unfortunately some of my mates' teams weren't so fortunate, as the great You Suck Corrales' beloved QPR lost to Hull City and Kevin's beloved Stoke lost to Aston Villa. Matt Conroy's beloved Chelsea plays tomorrow, in the Monday night game, and we all wish those blues luck (yeah, ok! ;) ).

Alrighty then! Click on the video on top for the usual drunken comments. Some photos from Matt Kremkau here. If you'd care to join our Fantasy Prem League, you can do so by clicking here. It's back to MLS action next Saturday as the Red Bulls have a massive home fixture (mates) vs Montreal. I hope to see you all @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outtahere!


Monday, August 4, 2014

RBNY vs Revolution : No Rhyme or Reason

What can one say about this NY Red Bulls team? These play possibly the worst half of football since the move to The Cathedral of Football, they go down a goal, go down a man and are booed off the pitch at half-time. They then return (a man down) with one of the best halves of football they've ever played at RBA, scoring two golazos and earning a 2-1 victory against the visiting Revs. It's ridiculous, yet true.

Coach Petke took full credit for that inspired 2nd half. One can only imagine what words, or methods, were used in his half-time rant. Whatever, it worked. If only these guys could be as fired up from minute #1.

Hat's off to the the Ginger Prince, Dax McCarty, for the sublime chip that leveled the score at 1-all and the sensational Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose game winner was his League leading 18th of the year.

Please see the video on top for the usual drunken comments & predictions. Please click here for Matt Kremkau's photo album form this one (slide show here).

That's it for me! Hope to see you all soon @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outtahere!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

RBNY vs Earthquakes: Still Not Able To Close The Deal

You talk about letting a sure three points slip from your grasp - wow! Another ridiculous defensive breakdown and the New York Red Bulls saw another late lead slip away in the dying minutes of regulation. Yes, it was two points down the drain and an end to Steven Lendhart's goal-scoring drought (you're welcome ya big douche).

While the Red Bulls created several great chances that should have bulged the proverbial "Onion Bag", one goal should have been enough to win this one. Shambolic attempted clearances, by Sekagya - then Alexander, allowed the Quake's "Lenny" his one moment of glory this season (in the 85th minute) and it was another 3 points squandered by RBNY.

What else it's there to say, it's definitely "On of Those Seasons". Yeah, playoffs, a bit of a run, anything can happen, yadda, yadda, yadda... Whatever! To be honest withcha, I'm not getting the vibe that this is an MLS Cup winning team. At the end of the day, let's just have a bit of a laugh about it this season and hope that the "Powers-That-Be" do the right thing for our glorious 2015 campaign.

Please click on the video top for our usual pre-game/half-time drunken comments and predictions. Click on the video below for post-game comments. Please click here for Matt Kremkau's photo album from this one (slide show here).

That's it for me! Hope to see you all next time @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). It's the big viper saying adieu, for now.


Monday, July 14, 2014

RBNY vs Columbus: King Thierry The 14th

It was truly the Thierry Henry Show at Red Bull Arena this past Saturday. On the strength of "Le Roi's" one goal, three assist performance, the New York Red Bulls crushed the visiting Columbus Crew 4-1.

Not only was this a landmark performance for TH14, with his on the field performance, but this one also saw the return of "Angry Henry". It was that persona that sparked a fire under the asses of the rest of his team mates.

It's another Player of The Week for Monsieur Henry. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his League Leading 15th goal of the season and our young defensive line got another game under their belt. Get all that shambolic defending out of your systems these season, please!

Please click on the video up to for the usual drunken comments and predictions. Please click here a for a great photo album, courtesy of Matt Kremkau (slide show here).

Philly away is up next this coming Wednesday, then it's San Jose @The Cathedral of Football on Saturday. Hope to see you all there. The big viper is outta here!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sharpening the Axe

Who will The Viper's Nest put on the chopping block?

With the World Cup close to completion, the nation's eyes will be returning to MLS and the Red Bulls. Okay, that may be overstating it a bit, but it is as good an excuse of any for a quick column on the state of the team.

The question posed was "If you were making a decision today, who on the roster do you cut and who do you keep?" The responses might surprise you (but probably not). Below you can see the decisions and a few thoughts on each player and those at the top of the org chart from Matt, in black; Tom, in red; and Big Viper in blue.

Andy Roxburgh
Keep     But Austria has to be concerned about his talent evaluation
Keep     Needs to step it up, but FO needs continuity & adult supervision
Cut        We need a GM that values creativity

Mike Petke
Cut         Hate to do this, but he is tactically naïve. We need an adult in charge. What do
               we do in training?
Cut         Still looking for any evidence of coaching skill. Suspect of "character" claims
Cut         Has lost the ability to motivate these guys. Again, need someone here who values

Andre Akpan
Keep     Bench fodder
Keep     We need to get younger fast
Cut        Totally useless

Eric Alexander
Keep     But only to play on the wing. Otherwise bench.
Keep     Needs a consistent role for long term value
Cut        Not the answer at all

Cut         Every game he's a red card waiting to happen. Would rather see Miazga develop if
               we're gonna suck.
Cut         Lots of mental lapses in coverage, major foul risk. Will miss the hair.
Cut         When Matt Miazga is better than you, there is no choice but OUT

Ruben Bover
Keep     Great in a sub role for now. Promising talent.
Keep     Jury is far from in, but glimmer of talent is exciting. Needs minutes
Keep     Pretty good sub option

Michael Bustamante
Keep     No reason to cut - has he even played?
Keep     Purely for Young MC joke
Keep     Showed good play in the few games he played last year

Tim Cahill
Keep     When he's here a key player for us. You can see we miss him.
Keep     The real leader of the team. Probably has 2 good years left for us
Keep     A "Get Stuck In" guy. He has been huge for us

Santiago Castaño
Keep     I guess. Third keeper.
Keep     Meara will go, so we need a backup
Keep     I can't rate this guy

Ian Christianson
Keep      Not sure if he'll ever play. Injury-prone.
Cut         Haven’t seen him yet and probably never will
Cut         Seems to have a broken metatarsal at all times

Bobby Convey
Keep      But only because we have no one else at left back at the moment. Massive
               disappointment, but I never expected much.
Cut         The Heath Pearce of 2014. Illusion of competence
Cut         Dude is total crap

Chris Duvall
Keep     Has looked decent in the changes he's had so far
Keep     Solid to strong in starting debut, defending and going forward. Could give us back
              what we lost with ridiculous Barklage cut
Keep     Our long term starter at right back

Richard Eckersley
Cut         Pricey GARBAGE
Cut         Number 1 reason to burn FO to the ground
Cut         Horrible

Thierry Henry
Keep     Probably his last season. Lousy way to go out.
Keep     Le Roi!
Cut        Gone next season anyway

Kosuke Kimura
Keep     Not great but he'd be my preferred backup to Duvall at RB.
Keep     Middle of the road player. Some bonehead moves this year, including horrendous
             foul in the box for a PK
Cut       Too much for a reserve Right Back

Connor Lade
Cut         If he can't get a game at LB over Convey he must blow.
Cut         Sadly. More of a Petke issue, it would seem. He will come back to bite us.
Cut         Has to get time elsewhere

Péguy Luyindula
Keep     Like his in MF, less so as striker.
Keep     Feelings change on him day to day. Does just enough to keep you optimistic
Keep     I guess

Dax McCarty
Keep     He's having a poor season by his standards but our best pure DM.
Keep     Losing Dax would be big blow to vaunted "consistency." Not sexy but solid.
Cut        Probably our best trade option

Ryan Meara
Keep     Solid backup to Robles.
Cut        Still think he may be better than Robles, but we can't keep him on bench forever
Cut        Might be worth something in a trade

Matt Miazga
Keep     Can we please see if he's better than our current central defenders? Can he really
              be much worse?
Keep     Keep for youth
Keep     Our Long Term starter at Center Back

Roy Miller
Keep     Never thought I'd say it but I hope he comes back soon.
Keep     Has done a great job for us. At least one more season here.

Marius Obekop
Keep     Why not?
Keep     Youth movement
Keep     Can't rate this guy

Jámison Olave
Keep     But he has no pace anymore. All bull-in-a-china-shop defending. Card after card
             and always a penalty danger.
Keep     Our best pure defender
Cut        He's slow as molasses and prone to give up bad PK's

Ambroise Oyongo
Keep     Great attacking skills, probably needs to work on defensive side of his game
Keep     Yes, 2 weeks ago had no idea who he was.
Keep     Our Long Term option at Left Back

Luis Robles
Keep     Less great in recent weeks but has kept us in many games. How sad is that?
Keep     So much more than we could have hoped for
Keep     Has been huge for us for two seasons now

Lloyd Sam
Keep     Pretty good season for Lloyd so far.
Keep     Good and getting better
Keep     Good to have a player like Sam

Ibrahim Sekagya
Keep     I guess. Not a huge fan. Big body, no pace.
Cut        Flashes of quality, but let's not kid ourselves
Cut        See Olave above

Jonny Steele
Keep     But only as bench depth. Not having a good season.
Keep     I'm a fan. Waiting on a big comeback. Needs minutes to produce
Cut        Has totally lost his Mojo

Eric Stevenson
Keep     Again, who?
Cut        No reason to say “yes”
Cut        I can't rate this guy

Bradley Wright-Phillips
Keep     Banging in the goals. Just a shame we're giving them out like Halloween candy
             at the other end.
Keep     Do I really need to explain this one? Can work on his passing
Keep     Scoring goals in bunches for us. Imagine if he had some creativity behind him.