Saturday, July 16, 2011

Matchday @The Home Depot Center: Chivas USA vs Red Bulls

Photo credit: TFCforever via Wikimedia Commons

Good afternoon! I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious Saturday. Our team is back in MLS action today @The Home Depot Center, against Chivas USA (10:30pm ET, MSG & Galavision). This season's first RBNY/Chivas encounter, @The Cathedral of Football, ended 3-2 to the Goats, with Justin Braun (3 goals) having a field day with the RBNY defense. But nevermind that one, let's see how both teams are coming into this one today.

Chivas USA finds itself in 6th place of MLS' Western Conference, on 22 points. They have to start picking up full points @home, or run the risk of fighting just to get into the playoffs late in the season. Red Bulls killer Justin Braun will be looking to add his name to the scoresheet and breakout star Nick LaBrocca will be looking to do the same. Not only that, according to the Chivas USA Official Site, it's Free Vuvuzela Night @The Home Depot Center!

The Red Bulls, coming off a very dissapointing home loss to arch rivals DC United, will be looking for all three points here. RBNY, who has not taken full away points since the 4-0 victory @DC, will be looking to solve the tight Chivas USA defense. Luke Rodgers is out of this one, so Thierry Henry will, more than likely, pair up with newly named MLS All-Star Juan Agudelo. The Red Bulls will be thrilled to have Teemu Tainio back in the lineup, as well as newly signed Goalkeeper Frank Rost. With Rafa Marquez still out injured, it will be up to Mendes & Ream to keep the potent Goats offense at bay. With all that in mind, let's get to some predictions.

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
The easiest and safest thing to predict for this team right now is a draw, no matter the opponent or the location. However, I have a feeling that the addition of an intense German goalkeeper and the combined disappointment of the DC and Chicago losses might finally light enough of a fire under the players' butts to get a big result in LA. Tainio should be back alongside McCarty, and even though Luke Rodgers will be missing, Agudelo can do a good job of deputizing. Even though we lost to Chivas a few months ago at home, we did score goals, and that makes me think that we should be able to do it again and - hopefully - keep Chivas at bay this time. If we get victimized by another Justin Braun hat trick I may have to choke a bitch. 3-1 Red Bulls. Henry, Agudelo and a Chivas own goal. LaBrocca scores for the Goats. I know I'm going out on a limb here. Don't embarrass me, Red Bulls
I'm gonna predict a Red Bulls victory, by the score of 3-1. Why? The return of Tainio and the addition of Rost will do wonders for our defense. A hungry forward tandem of Henry/Agudelo, plus the service of Lindpere/Richards, will see RBNY goals scored today.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
We wrap up a tumultuous week in Red Bull Land with yet another West Coast trip--seems like the team should have just rented some beach houses for the last two months and saved themselves some travel. We'll have a severely jet-lagged keeper who's never trained a minute with the team, because he's still a better option than anyone else. Luke Rodgers is not starting, and the team's record without him is much worse than it is with him.

On the bright side, as we all know, the starters have had their full week between matches, and should be ready to go. Thierry Henry is truly fired up over the team's recent run of mediocrity. Our new keeper IS a significant upgrade, even jet-lagged, and will fill a position that has cost us at least 5 points in the standings. Plus, we will get to see this German giant get all up in Roy Miller's grill in a very German way. I'm giddy just thinking about it.

After the rough, miserable U.S. Open Cup debacle (deBacke-le?), I have to predict a Red Bulls win tonight just to make myself feel hopeful. Let's say 2-1, with Henry and Richards getting the goal; add a 3rd goal if Agudelo has remembered to put on his cleats this week. Watch Frank Rost's neck muscles pop out of his flesh with rage when he is rendered helpless by some blown coverage by Roy Miller.
Dan Dickinson has this for us:
Rost is starting but will be on the worst jetlag you can possibly suffer. He hasn't had time to mesh with the team. I'm not convinced this will get us the revenge we want for the 3-2 loss earlier this year. So put me down for a frustrating 2-2 draw. Henry and Lindpere
David Kilpatrick (aka Dr.K) has this for us:
W, 1-2
Alrighty then! Let's hope for victory. We'll be all over this one in next few days. Viper Out!
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