Friday, May 14, 2010

Matchday @Red Bull Arena: RBNY vs Seattle Sounders

Good Morning! A fine, fine day here in NYRB land, as the Red Bulls are back in action at Red Bull Arena against the Seattle Sounders. Interesting picture, the one above. It usually doesn't happen that both teams will participate in such a lovefest before a game. That said, it was a momentous occasion. It was the first ever MLS game for the Seattle Sounders, and it took place last year at Seattle's Quest Field. The Big viper, You Suck Corrales and Who Shot Sam were all on hand to watch the Sounders put a 3-0 beatdown on Osorio's crap-ass 2009 Red Bulls team. What a difference a year makes, eh.

This year, the new and improved Red Bulls already travelled to Quest Field, which is (in my opinion) the toughest MLS stadium to play in. They came back East with a full three points, much to the disbelief of the 35,000 Seattle fans at Quest (not to mention my disbelief). A Mac Kandji goal gave RBNY a 1-0 win and the Red Bulls were unlucky to not have scored a few more. Today, the Sounders come to the Cathedral of Football looking for some sort of result. The Red Bulls have yet to lose, or even draw, at their Fortress on the Passaic. Could this be the day that happens? We shall soon see. In the meantime, let's get to some predictions...

The great Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
This is a tough call. You have two teams coming off 4-0 losses and looking to turn things around. The Red Bulls have yet to drop points at home and managed to beat Seattle out there earlier this year 1-0. Seattle, meanwhile, has been struggling to create opportunities and are a bit low on confidence. Sigi probably had them working hard in training this week. I’ll predict a 2-2 draw. Montero and Alonso for the visitors, Salou and Lindpere for us.
Well, this wouldn't be such a bad result - if we were talking about the team Red Bulls team pictured above. This year's team is managed by a Nordic genious (where the hell is that Tifo, please?) who demands more. In his eyes, anything less than total victory at Red Bull Arena would be a dissapointment. I'm sure this is the mentality that grips all our players at the moment. To allow the Sounders to come here and get something - anything - would be a catastrophe.

So because of all that, I'm predicting total victory today. If the Red Bulls can give Seattle a beatdown in front of all their fans, I'm thinking Goleada at Red Bull Arena. Well, I might be going overboard but I'll go with a 3-1 result in favor of The Good. In my opinion, it's going to be a long flight back, to the Land of Much Rain and Little Sun, for the Evil Green Horde. Alrighty then!

Homebrew Tim provided this analysis and prediction:
This week, two teams coming off 0-4 drubbings in their previous league matches face off. I believe that the Red Bulls have the advantage here, though. First, the responses to their respective performances needs to be looked at. Mike Petke walked out saying that, if they had to lose that one, he was glad they got "smacked in the face" because it meant the team could use the loss for motivation. Meanwhile I just read that following Seattle's loss to Los Angeles, veteran Peter Vagenas sat in a fetal position in his locker cubicle after last week's loss. With the misery of last season, at least many of these Red Bull players know about losing. But the vaunted Seattle Sounders have never come off a loss like this.

Second, at the quarter pole in this 2010 season, the Red Bulls have been the better team. While we sit at 5-2 and 15 points, Seattle has an unimpressive 9 points, at 2-3-3. (As you might recall, one of my pre-season "bold predictions" was that Seattle would be mediocre this season and miss the playoffs.) Also, Seattle is without key defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso.

The Red Bulls need to play the kind of defense they showed in their first effort against Seattle this year. I'm hoping to see Chris Albright start the game at right back to counter burner, Steve Zakuani more effectively than Jeremy Hall did. I'm hoping to see a healthy Carl Robinson paired up in midfield with Joel Lindpere--I like Tchani and want to see him get his minutes, but we're a better team when we have a defensive-minded midfielder calming things down in the middle. I'd love to see Brian Nielsen get the nod at left mid, too, but after playing 90 on Wednesday, I have a feeling we'll see Seth Stammler there.

In any case, back to the business at hand, the prediciton: The team rediscovers its focus and shows Seattle that the greatest home-field advantage in the league no longer belongs to them; it's now at the Cathedral of Football, built by Makita. Red Bulls win 2-1, on goals from Angel and Lindpere.

And last, but not least, the great You Suck Corrales has this for us:
Red Bull Army will sweep the hapless Sounders off the field of battle. The Seattle players will be in panic and disarray as Nielsen and Dane slice through them from the flanks and Salou and Juan Pablo make irresistable frontal assaults. Lindpere will provide the devastating artillery support. I wonder if Adrian Hannauer will refund the travelling expenses of the Seattle fans who make the cross country journey to witness their team surrender to the overwhelming force that is Hans Backe's Red Army. Hopefully no prisoners will be taken. 4-0 Red Bull. Come on, what else did you expect hahahaha!
We'll have the usual massive coverage, replete with photos, videos and expert commentary, within the coming days.

A few other things:

Don't forget to Support Joe Vide at today's game.

Also, if you are a Red Bulls Season Ticket Holder, consider getting to the game early:
All fans that enter Red Bull Arena before 6:45 PM for the match on May 15 versus the Seattle Sounders will receive an extra 10 loyalty points on their account. To qualify for the extra points, all fans MUST enter Red Bull Arena by using their Members Card - print at home or barcode tickets DO NOT qualify for this promotion.

In addition, one lucky fan that enters Red Bull Arena before 6:30 PM USING his Members Card will be randomly selected to receive access to the field level during the pre-match ceremonies.

Scarves up and get loud! GO RED BULLS!

NY Red Bulls Fan Services Department
That's all for now and I'll see you at the game. Viper Out!
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