Thursday, April 21, 2011

Matchday @RFK: DC United vs Red Bulls

Good afternoon! It's a glorious one here in Red Bulls Land and our boys are back in League action. This time, they travel down to Lair of The Great Satan to take on the Forces of Darkness (8:00pm, ESPN2) for the first leg of the so-called Atlantic Cup.

Satan's Minions have every reason to be confident, as they're coming off an 3-0 away thrashing of Toronto FC. Chris Pontius, their best player last season, is back in form and their newest star player, Charlie Davies, has a League leading 5 goals for them already. They'll be looking to avenge last season's 2-0 home defeat at the hand of the Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls, coming off an emphatic 3-0 home victory against the San Jose Earthquakes, will be looking for an away encore @DC. Thierry Henry finally ended his goal scoring drought in what Coach Backe called his best performance yet. Two goal, one assist man Luke Rodgers will be looking to add a second MLS Player of The Week title to his resume. If the defense can stay focused and cancel out the DC attack, this one could rival last year's epic victory @DC.

So with all that in mind, let's get to some predictions:

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
Last year we went down to DC not really knowing what to expect and beat the Scum 2-0. I'm convinced that it was that game more than any other that allowed the Red Bulls to play with confidence for the rest of the season and make their remarkable turnaround. For DC it was a major signal that things were headed south.

How things have changed in a year. Now we are the team that everyone is gunning for and DC are just trying to claw their way back to respectability. Charlie Davies has been diving all over the place and leads the league in goals thanks to a handful of penalties. They've also improved their midfield by bringing in Chucky from FC Dallas and beat a putrid TFC team 3-0 last weekend. At the back, however, I think they still have some issues that we could (and should) exploit. If we come at them with the same kind of effort we gave against San Jose we could do the unthinkable and win in RFK for consecutive years in the first time forever (correct me if I'm wrong here).

On paper we are better, we have a superior manager and we play a better brand of football, but I just have this nagging feeling that something will happen to keep us from grabbing all three points, like a rat running across the pitch and redirecting the ball past Condoul. So I'm going for a 1-1 draw. DeRo will step up and grab one for us, McCarty for DC.
I'm going to be a bit more optomistic than Matt. Yes, I know it probably won't work out but I'm thinking the Red Bulls are going to win this one. RBNY was dominant their last two games and were just very unlucky to lose one of those. The goal scoring dilemma seems to be cleared up so two, or three, goals against a porous DC United defense would not be out the question, imho. I'll keep it on the conservative side and say it will be a 2-0 Red Bulls victory.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
Just as I sat down to type this, my 3-month old has started bawling like a DC fan (probably because her diaper is in the same state as that of most DC fans'), so I'll have to make this quick today. Loved what I saw last week. Look for us to keep it up against one of the most porous defenses in the league thus far. Our defense has hardly let in a thing this season, and I expect that to continue even against the threat of Charlie Davies. Look for a 2-0 win against the Dark Side. DeRo and Henry.
Our man in the UK, Glenn Williams, has this for us:
New York Red Bulls were absolutely fantastic against San Jose Earthquakes. They controlled the game from the first minute, and looked classy and exciting throughout. Rodgers was sensational, grabbing a poachers brace and beautifully setting Henry up to end the Frenchman's drought. The team as a whole worked hard, and we're going to need more of the same against a DC United team with talent scattered throughout the XI. Marquez and Ream are going to be on their guard against Charlie Davies, not to mention recent scorers Josh Wolff and Chris Pontius.

Purely because I haven't got a single Red Bulls prediction right this season, I'm going to employ reverse psychology and go for a 1-0 defeat. If the pattern continues, we'll be celebrating another three points tonight!
Last, but not least, the great You Suck Corrales has this for us:
Well up until about an hour ago I was going to go the negative route and predict a loss. However as I walked down the block this morning to get coffee and a paper a bird managed to take a massive shit on my head. It was quite disgusting. But from what I understand that brings good luck. I can only pray that is true. So as I head off to the "Lair of the Great Satan" I will predict that we dominate posession and TH knocks a couple in. 3-1 NYRB. And if that happens, if Henry scores and we win I am going to finally follow through on my promise to get the badge tatoo!
Wow! That last one is right out of The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner. Alrighty then! Let's all hope for the best down @The Lair of The Great Satan. We'll have our Award Winning coverage within the next few days. Viper Out!
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