Saturday, March 26, 2011

Matchday @Columbus: Crew vs RBNY

Good Morning! With a whole lot of players missing, the Red Bulls are @Columbus today (4:00pm, MSG Plus). The Crew are coming off being mauled 3-1 @DC and will look to stuff RBNY at their fortress of a home stadium. Columbus is a club being rebuilt, with several veterans (including Red Bulls killer Guillermo Barros-Schellotto) now gone. This week, another one of their veterans, Robbie Rogers is, reportedly, demanding a trade after being benched.

The Red Bulls, on the other hand, travelled with a team that is so short handed, it's almost comical. Six players will be gone due to International duty, Henry pulled his hammy, Sutton suffered a concussion, our third string keeper will be starting and now DJ Jan Gunnar Solli is questionable. On paper, it surely looks like the Columbus first team will be taking on the RBNY reserves in an official MLS game. That said, Mr. Backe believes the Red Bulls can get a result. Also, it's the perfect opportunity for our bench guys, including Luke Rodgers, to step up and make a stament. So with all that in mind, let's get to some predictions:

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
I'm not feeling confident going into this one. In addition to missing a number of players to international duty, including both of our first choice central defenders, Mr. Henry has suffered yet another injury. Columbus will be desperate to get points after losing to DC on opening day, while Backe will just be lucky to get 11 healthy bodies on the pitch. Given all of this, I am going to predict a 2-0 Columbus victory, with goals from Jeff Cunningham and Andres Mendoza.
I'm about as confident as Matt that the Red Bulls get a victory in this one. Anything can happen, of course, but I wouldn't bet on RBNY getting even a tie here. I'm thinking Columbus gets something short of a goleada, with the final score being: Columbus 3, RBNY 0.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
I've been trying to hold out hope for a 0-0 draw, but the news today that we had to sign our #3 and #4 Keepers just to be able to play this match has sent me over the edge. It is a disgrace that Don Garber continues to schedule All-Star games, refuses to let go of Superliga, and encourages all sorts of summer friendlies against top European teams, and then whines that we have no choice but to play on FIFA dates. That this match is allowed to be played at all is a mockery.

Yet, played it will be, so here are my thoughts: The combination of Medhi Ballouchy; a starting keeper and our only two legitimate strikers all of whom have never seen a minute of MLS league play; Medhi Ballouchy; Roy Miller's positional skills being tested at CENTER BACK??; Medhi Ballouchy; playing on the road; and Medhi Ballouchy... it's just too much to ask.

We had a pre-season match where our reserves played against the Dallas FC first team, and we lost 4-0. Columbus is rebuilding and probably not as good as Dallas, and our midfield is largely intact, so the result should not be quite so bad, merely embarrasing instead. I'm saying Red Bulls lose 3-0, on a brace from Cunningham and a Roy Miller own goal. Coach Backe had better re-think his objective of winning the Supporter's Shield, because there's going to be about 10 games this season where we are dealing with this BS.
The great You Suck Corrales has this for us:
Henry out with a hamstring. 6 guys gone for friendlies. I am suggesting Mr Backe play like a 7-3-0 formation and pray inept Columbus can't break through. My prediction is disaster. This match should not be allowed to be played by Mr. Garber. It is a joke. Columbus 4-0 NYRB.
Wow! You Suck Corrales usually predicts a 4-0, but not to the opposition. Ha, ha! Ok, I'll be at USA vs Argentina today so hope to see some of you there. Good luck to the Red Bulls and to our Supporters making a very ill advised bus trip (just kidding Vikings :) Viper Out!
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