Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red Bulls @New England: Ill Advised!

It's bad enough to have players that are total crap, but do they have to be blockheads also? If you'll recall, Luke Sassano did us in a few weeks back @San Jose, with one of the most ill advised tackles I've ever seen. The ref promptly issued him a red card and we lost. This time, we managed (as I predicted) to let Shalrie Joseph kill us again (can we ever just shut him down?) but we were actually done in by two blockheads named Carlos Mendes and Roy Miller.

First, Mr. Mendes got himself a yellow card early in the game, then proceeds to make an ill advised tackle from behind on a Revs player, early in the second half. The ref correctly issues him a red card and the Red Bulls are down to 10 men. So with the score tied at two, late in the second half, Coach Backe decides he'll shut things down in the back and substitutes Juan Pablo for Tchani. Seconds later, Mr. Miller gets himself a straight red for an ill advised flicking of his fist at a Revs player's face.

This was just needless, and so beyond ill advised that I cannot believe he did it. And yes, it was the correct call by the ref! I'm going to have to disagree with most Red Bulls fans (including my Viper's Nest associate Matt Conroy) who believe the call to be unjust. I've watched the replay about 100 times now and, in my opinion, it was deliberate. Red Bulls down to 9 men.

So let's analyze the goals that were given up, shall we? First, let me ask this: can the Red Bulls defend a ball in the box? Apparently not, is the answer. We saw it in San Jose, with a totally unmarked Bobby Burnley having his way in the box (as the SJ announcer asked "he's the biggest guy in the stadium, how can you not mark him?). We saw it last week, at home against Columbus, where two Crew goals came by way of headers (Gaven & Iro).

This week, the first Revs goal came off a sublime Shalrie Joseph chip into the box into the path of Perovic. With the slow-as-molasses Mike Petke (he's really lost a step, or two, or three) quickly finding himself behind the Revs striker, it was up to Coundoul to stop the shot at the near post. It didn't happen, and the Revs were quickly up 1-nil.

The second Revs goal came by way of a Tim Ream Own Golazo. Another totally unbelievable one to me, as Ream had a clear line of sight of everything to the right of the goal. There was nothing there, but instead of heading it towards the side, or even the corner flag, Timmy Ream puts it in the corner of the goal, where no keeper in the world could have saved it. Ill advised and Own Golazo!

But even with all that, the great Juan Pablo Angel managed to equalize early in the second half (that's our own Matt Conroy in the picture above, with Keith and Matt Brown to his right, going nuts after Juan Pablo's goal). After that, the two blockheads of the week each took their turn getting sent off. It would have been extremely difficult to hold on with nine men but it could have been done. Our defenders, however, had other plans...

The third Revs goal came as a result of another sublime Shalrie Joseph chip into the box that found Zach Schilawski and the Revs striker headed it past Bouna Time. Schilawski, in fact, was one of two Revs players that found themselves all alone, in that play, against our keeper. Where the hell were Petke and Ream??? Were they trying to play the offside trap??? It didn't look that way to me from the replay.

What a friggin' nighmare of a game! From a great 5 win, 1 loss start to a 5 and 5 record, after yesterday's loss. But wait, we can definitely make up for that with the two upcoming home games before the World Cup break. Then again, that's easier said that done nowadays.

One last thing: Revolution starting keeper, Preston Burpo, had to leave the game, late in the first half, as a result of the most horrific injury ever suffered by an MLS player. I've seen similar injuries happen in Premier League play, but never here in MLS. Burpo is 37 years old and, if I were a betting man, I would say this injury spells the end of his career (and I do hope I'm wrong). The great tragedy here is that, had Burpo stayed glued to his line, Dane Richard probably would not have scored in a one-on-one. I'm real sorry to say it, but that challenge was: Ill advised!

Alrighty then. Will see you all Wednesday at the Cathedral of Football. Viper Out!

Edit: At least Shep Messing agrees with the big viper:

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