Friday, March 18, 2011

RBNY News & Notes: Are You Ready for Some Football?

Above photo courtesy of Chamber Images

Good afternoon! It's one day until the home opener @The Cathedral of Football and there are several questions still needing an answer. The Red Bulls go into the 2011 season with optimism and great expectations. This season, all eyes will be on Thierry Henry to live up to the hype he arrived with last season. The quintessential New Yorker, TH14 will have to up his game if the Red Bulls have any chance of getting to another MLS Cup final. Most Red Bulls fans (including myself) believe this is an MLS Cup-or-bust season, and no excuses will be tolerated. Yes, you can say the pressure is definitely on. With all that in mind, let's get to some RBNY news:

It was announced this week that six RBNY players will miss the March 26th game, @Columbus, due to various National Team call-ups. Among the missing will be RBNY phenoms Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream, both of whom have been called up for the March 26th USMNT friendly, against Argentina, @New Meadowlands Stadium.

Another Red Bulls player, rookie and Academy product Sacir Hot (feelin' hot, hot hot...) has been called up to the US U20 MNT for the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. That one takes place in Guatemala, between March 28th & April 10th. With Hot out, that makes 7 rostered RBNY playes who will not be available against Columbus on the 26th. If you count Albright & Nielsen, it makes 9.

The Red Bulls announced that the home opener will be televised via MSG. Still, this is only a one-off, as there is no permanent MSG deal as of yet.

RBNY gaffer Hans Backe stated that he sees newly signed Finnish International Teemu Tainio as a central midfielder. Tainio himself weighed in on the subject and said that center mid is where the coach would get the best out of him.

The Red Bulls announced the New York's Got Wings program. For every RBNY goal scored this season, the team will make a donation to the NYC Parks & Recreation Department’s summer camp programs. You can check out the promo spot by clicking here.

Red Bulls midfielder Matt Kassel and Austin Da Luz made an appearance on Fox 5's Good Day NY. Lucky for them, Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly weren't doing the interview. You might recall that those two botched the TH14 appearance last year.

The team announced that this season, the matchday program will be available digitally. Only 1,000 hard copy matchday programs will be available at the stadium, so get there early if you want one. The first digital copy is available by clicking here.

Val Pak has a special 2 for 1 ticket offer for tomorrow's opening game. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, it's time to take advantage now.

A few more things:

The Red Bulls will continue their effort to aid former RBNY midfielder Joe Vide in his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I want to see everyone at the game tomorrow taking out their wallets and putting something into the collection buckets. No excuses!

Former RBNY goalkeeper Danny Cepero has called it a career. Danny will forever be remembered for his golazo against Columbus. Good luck to him.

The latest world soccer superstar to be linked with a summer mover to RBNY is none other than German International Michael Ballack.

This week, Sky Sports named Red Bull Arena (built by Makita) as it's Stadium of The Week.

This past weekend, the Red Bulls hosted a Countdown to Kickoff event at Catas Restaurant (the new home of the Viking Army) in the Ironbound section of Newark. Supporters got to mingle with several of the new players and were also treated to the musical stylings of Carlos Mendes & John Wolyniec. DJ Jan Gunnar Solli was also there spinning the discs. You can check out the video of the event by clicking here.

Finally, a great Open Letter to TH14, from Tim Hall.

That is all for now. I hope to see you all tomorrow @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outta here!
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