Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Musings

Photo Courtesy of Julian Gaviria

I normally save this column for mid-week, but with the US Open Cup qualifying game tomorrow night, I'm getting in an early word this week.

I had a great time at Saturday's 2-1 victory over our budding rival, the Philadelphia Union. My friend, Pete, came along this week. He's a long-time soccer fan who is starting to embrace MLS. Saturday was his first Red Bulls match and he had a great time, too. One more new Red Bulls fan.

A quick word on Saturday's attendance. I admit that I, too, was disappointed by the crowd of 15,619. I was anticipating something closer to 18,000. However, I'd also like to provide a little bit of perspective. Let's look at last season's match against D.C. United. It's a good comparison for a couple of reasons: It was an early-season, April matchup and D.C. United is our biggest rival. Our attendance to that match was 10,303. Saturday's attendance is a dramatic improvement.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night's match. I'm glad that Coach Backe has made the decision to field the reserves for this match. Let Philly coach, Pietr Nowak, thump his chest and play his starters, then stick their exhausted asses on a plane to L.A. It will be made all the worse for them when our reserves and rookies wear them down and take the match in extra-time.

Here's my hope for tomorrow's lineup, subject to change if any news breaks from today's training.

Chinn, Salou
Nielsen, Tchani, Stammler (C), Ubi
Borman, Ream, Boyens, Albright

Sub: Agudelo for Salou, Hall or da Luz for Nielsen, Hall or Garcia for Ubi, Mendes for Ream.

Speaking of tomorrow's match. Have you bought your tickets yet? For only $15 you can get any seat in the lower bowl. Want armrests and cup holders? $15 will get you a "premium midfield" experience. Early USOC games are not well-attended. Prior to owning their Arena, the Red Bulls would have to play these games on a college athletic field because it was untenable for them to drop the $300,000 rental fee for Giants Stadium. There should only be a few thousand fans, so no talk this week about attendance!

I don't like to look past our next match tomorrow night, but a quick word about this coming Saturday. It's an away match against our established hated rival, D.C. United. Lots of Red Bulls fans are making the road trip for the away match. Head down and support the club if you can get away! Matt and Miguel will be making the trip, along with YouSuckCorrales, so you know we'll have great coverage and videos here at TVN.

With a balanced schedule this season, and the three-week break in play during the World Cup group stage, can anyone explain to me how Columbus already has THREE games in hand to Seattle? With Columbus already in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, they are going to be contending with some serious fixture congestion this summer.

UEFA Champions League semi-finals conclude this week. Lyon hosts Bayern Munich tomorrow, hoping to come back from a 0-1 deficit. Wednesday, Barca will try to overcome their 1-3 loss to Inter last week in Italy. Here in North America, Pachuca will host Cruz Azul in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final (aka, the FMF Annual Football Runaround) on Wednesday night. Cruz Azul will try to hang on to their slim 2-1 lead at Pachuca.
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