Sunday, June 19, 2011

Matchday @Portland: Timbers vs Red Bulls

Photo credit: Fancy-cats-are-happy-cats via Wikimedia Commons

Good afternoon & Happy Father's Day! The Red Bulls are back in MLS action tonight at Portland's Jeld-Wen Field, against the expansion Timbers FC. It's actually the second meeting between both teams (the first being a 2009 friendly) but the first in League action. Let's see how both teams come into this one.

The Timbers are currently sitting 8th in the Western Conference. Portland has dropped its last three League games and its last two home games. It's a bit of a slump that their currently suspended coach, John Spencer, hopes to get them out of today, with possession, passing and movement.

The Red Bulls are fresh off breaking their six game winless streak, with a 2-1 result against New England, and will look to start this grueling four game road trip on the right foot by feeding off the Jeld-Wen Field atmosphere. Still missing several players, due to International commitments, the Red Bulls will be happy at the early return of Dwayne DeRosario and the problable inclusion of several key walking wounded. The Red Bulls, and their fans, will also be thankful that Rafa Marquez survived a horror tackle yesterday and wish for his speedy return. Also, new signing, left back Mike Jones, will be available for selection today.

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

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
The Red Bulls begin a brutal four game road trip without a number of key players who are away on Gold Cup duty. On the other hand, Dwayne De Rosario has already returned and are set to get another player or two back in time for the Seattle game later in the week. If they can get a positive result in Portland - against a team that is struggling for goals at the moment - this road trip could end up being less of a nightmare than we originally envisioned. It's all going to be dependent on how well they can cope at the back. The marking on set pieces still needs massive improvement and RBNY cannot keep giving away a penalty a game if they want to have any shot at the Supporter's Shield.

I'll predict a 2-2 draw. Goals from Henry and former Timber Stephen Keel for the Red Bulls. Cooper and Perlaza for the home team.
If the Red Bulls are going to win one game, out of the next four, then it's got to be this one. I'm going to stay postive, two weeks in a row, and predict a 2-1 Red Bulls victory.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
I feel like we can win this one on the road today. 2-1 to the Red Bulls, Henry and DeRo.
Our man in the UK, Glenn Williams, has this for us:
It seems we've finally rediscovered how to win after a series of disappointing draws, and you'd expect that trend to continue tonight. Taking nothing away from a Portland Timbers side that have pulled off some admirable results in their debut season, they're a team any top side should be taking three points from. The return of DeRo should bolster our attacking options, with Henry and Rodgers continuing to find the net regularly. It's at the back where we need to be more resolute; we simply can't give away set pieces with Jack Jewsbury delivering beauties and causing chaos.

I'm gonna go for 2-0 RBNY, because it's about time we won with a clean sheet. Henry and Rodgers with the goals.
That's all for us. We have several "Friends of The Nest" that will be in attendace @Jeld-Wen Field today. Lots of videos and pictures have been promised, so look for some of that here in the next week. Also, look for our Award winning coverage of this one in the next few days.
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