Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Bulls Maintain Pre-Season Unbeaten Run

It's safe to say that nobody expected the Fort Lauderdale Rebels of the Caribbean Americas Soccer Association to pose much of a threat to the Red Bulls when the teams met today in yet another scrimmage down in Florida.  In fact, nobody even knew the Red Bulls would be playing the Rebels until shortly before kickoff. 

Despite the gap in experience, the teams went into halftime scoreless.  Eventually, RBNY's quality showed.  Luke Sassano (!) opened the scoring with a long-range strike and Tony Tchani scored his first goal for the club, before John Wolyniec and Sinisa Ubiparipovic banged in their first goals of the pre-season.  In the end, the Red Bulls cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory and remain undefeated in games that don't matter. 

Juan Pablo Angel did not feature in the match, as he nurses his sore leg.  Neither did Danleigh Borman, who left the Houston game in Orlando with a hamstring problem.  We are still waiting to find out the severity of Borman's injury.

As we await further news on signings, the final composition of the RBNY squad and the MLS labor situation (players and owners met today in DC, with a mediator present), Ronald Blum of Associated Press has written a lengthy article on Red Bull Arena, detailing the trials and tribulations of the New York/New Jersey franchise over the years.  In the article, Erik Stover confirms the news we broke last week that showing the Champions League final on the big screens at Red Bull Arena following the Czech Republic/Turkey friendly is being discussed.

Also being discussed is the location of the 2010 MLS Cup.  Signs point toward RBA as being the natural front runner to host the Cup, but as I mentioned when I spoke with the guys from "It's Called Football" last week, the lack of ancillary development directly around the Arena could work against New York's bid.  Today, Duane Rollins at The 24th Minute sizes up the contenders - New York, Philadelphia, Toronto and Los Angeles - and sees New York as the most likely option.  I hope he's right, but still think the league may defer Harrison until 2011.
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