Monday, October 11, 2010

RBNY vs RSL: Keep Walking, Nothing To See Here!

Just an ugly 0-0, haven't you ever seen one of those before? Go on, keep walking...

If last week's victory against Kansas City was an ugly win, then this week's 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake was as ugly as one of those can get. The stats show the Red Bulls had 16 shots, but only one of them on target (a Rafa Marquez shot that hit the woodwork). RSL, on the other hand, had only 8 shots, and only two of them on goal. Those two on goal, however, hit the RBNY woodwork and the defending MLS Champion was millimeters away from taking all three points back to Utah. The 0-0 result was not without controversy, with the visitors crying about penalty non-calls. That the Red Bulls should have had two penalty calls of their own (for clear hand balls in the box) must have been of no concern to them, but whatever.

I was glad to have Rafa back in the lineup, and his presence was instrumental in our midfield cancelling out any Beckerman/Morales creativity. Man of The Match for me: Tim Ream. Ream was taken to school by Andy Williams (who hit the post on that play), early in the match, but he recovered quite nicely and saved us several times.

Armchair Manager that I am, I'm going to question why Mr. Backe subjected the Red Bulls line-up to several Osorio-like position changes. Well, not several - just a couple - but they were major ones, and the players involved were ineffective where they played. Joel Lindpere was moved from the left, in order to fill Richards' vacant right wing spot. Thierry Henry was then made to fill Lindpere's vacancy on the left, and Juan Pablo Angel was left alone up top, with Ballouchy, Tchani and Marquez in the middle. Wouldn't inserting Sinisa, in place of Richards, have been more prudent? This would have kept our most effective 4-4-2 formation, with all three DPs at their most effective.

Although Mr. Backe was satisfied with the draw here, we can see he has no faith in several players on the roster (with Boyens being the most glaring example) but now it seems that Sinisa has been added to that list. I sure hope he gets out of the doghouse soon because we're going to need the most depth (and the most effective lineup) we can get to go deep in the playoffs and, possibly, MLS Cup.

That said, it's two massive points dropped here by the Red Bulls and a missed opportunity to go 4 points clear of Columbus (who lost to Chicago on Friday), in the Eastern Conference standings. Our team does still have its destiny in hand but, unless The Crew drop points in their final two games, RBNY must win the next two fixtures to secure first place in the East. I cannot stress how important that is, as it would be the difference between hosting the Conference Final, or having to play that game on the road. Let us pray...

Alrighty then! Please see the above video for pre-match drunken comments. You can click here for half-time comments and you can click here for full time comments.

I know I say it time and time again, but it was yet another great time for me in the GSS section (sec 133). There were several Salt Lake guys walking around, with their wives in tow, including the guy with the RSL Warface, pictured above. Check out my chat with him at the end of my full-time comments video.

We stuck around for the second game, where the Red Bulls U18 Academy team faced off against the US Men's U17 team. This game was supposed to be the "Soft Opening" to Red Bulls Arena, back on March 13th. If you remember, it was cancelled due to weather (a near Hurricane, actually). The Red Bulls actually scored first in this one, but still lost to the US U17's by the score of 4-1. This game was marred by more ineptness at the concession stands (this is why I avoid them like the plague). The victim this time: the great Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam). Matt gives us this video diatribe, where he unleashes his anger over the incident (Warning: not for the faint of heart).

Please click here for my photo album from this game or you can click here for the slideshow. You can click here for the Official Album, from Red Bulls Official on Facebook.
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