Sunday, June 26, 2011

Matchday @Chicago: Fire vs Red Bulls

Photo credit: Hied5 via Wikimedia Commons

Good morning! After that nightmare of a game @Seattle, the Red Bulls will be looking to get back to winning ways today, as they visit the Chicago Fire (2:00pm ET, ESPN). Let's see how both teams come into this one.

The Fire come into this one with just two wins all season and firmly entrenched in 6th place of the Eastern Conference. Chicago is the home of the draw, apparently, as the Fire have 10 this season. They'll be looking for all three points today and swear they'll be ready for the Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls will have to pick up the pieces from that performance against Seattle, and come out strong against the Fire. Thierry Henry should be back in the lineup, after serving a one game suspension for a bogus red card. More importantly, RBNY coach Hans Backe will have a decision to make as to which goalkeeper to use. With all that in mind, let's get to some predictions.

The great Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
The Red Bulls have NEVER won a game at Toyota Park since it opened in 2006. NEVER. But as they say there's a first time for everything, and you could argue that this is the worst Chicago Fire team in a number of years. RBNY, on the other hand, is smarting from the 4-2 loss in Seattle and probably tired as all hell from having played two matches in the span of 5 days (this will be the third in the span of a week). A rested Thierry Henry should return, while you would expect Bouna to start after Greg Sutton's horror show in the Pacific Northwest. If Backe goes with Sutton I'll have to question his sanity.

Against my better judgment I'm going to say that the Red Bulls finally squeak out a win in Bridgeview. 2-1 to RBNY, with goals from Richards and Henry. Pappa scores for the Fi-yah.
I'm going to stay positive and predict a win here. The Fire are not in top form, at the moment, and the Red Bulls should be energized by the return of Thierry Henry. With Bouna Time minding the net, I'm thinking the legendary Frenchman gets a goal & an assist in a 2-0 Red Bulls victory.

Dan Dickinson has this for us:
We're 1-2-5 on the road this year; Fire is 1-1-5 at home. Their defense is strong, our offense is strong. Their offense is weak, and our second-string defense is weak. And given that every Chicago game I've had the displeasure to watch on this year - KC home opener, away in Columbus, and RSL a few days ago - has been a snooze fest, I expect this to be the same as the two sides don't really find a way to exploit the weaknesses on the other side. 1-1 draw, goals by Henry and Oduro.
That's all for now. We'll have full coverage of this one in the next day, or two. Viper Out!
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