Photo credit: Chamber Images
Good afternoon! Another blistering hot day here in Red Bulls Land and our team is back in action @The Cathedral of Football (6:00pm ET, MSG, Galavision). The opponent today (FC Dallas) is no stranger to weather like this and should feel right at home. Will the struggling Red Bulls, who will be given the silent treatment by their own Supporters, be able to cope? That's the million dollar question. Let's see how both teams come into this one.
FC Dallas is currently sitting second place in the Western Conference. They're on 38 points, which is just 4 back of the League leading Los Angeles Galaxy. And that's despite losing their best player, to a broken ankle, earlier this season. As the Galaxy is not in MLS action this weekend, Dallas will be chomping at the bit to pull within a point of being 'Top of The League'. Dallas' stingy defense has a league leading 11 shut-outs & All-Star Brek Shea is soaring with confidence after hitting the game winner against Toronto midweek. In short, FC Dallas will feel that all three points are there for the taking.
The Red Bulls are coming off a couple of weeks were their season has gone south in a hurry. Under fire RBNY head coach gave up on the US Open Cup and has made so many questionable roster moves (and non-moves) that the fanbase has, to put it mildly, lost confidence in his managerial powers. Many questions abound after last Wednesday's 4-1 embarrassment @Colorado, including: Has Backe lost the team? That's a completely ridiculous question, says center back Tim Ream - although many of the RBNY faithfull will certainly disagree.
Can the Red Bulls make a statement today? Well, with DM Teemu Tainio questionable for this one, RBNY will have to rely on the experience of Marquez and Rost to shore up the defense and get a result today. Captain Thierry Henry has called for every RBNY player to "Man Up'. Let's see if they answer. so with all that in mind, let's get to some predictions.
Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
I don't know how any Red Bulls fan can feel confident coming into this game. We looked flat out awful against Colorado on Wednesday, are once again missing our key midfield man Teemu Tainio, and we have to play on short rest in 95 degree heat or worse. Have I mentioned that the players will have to get through this one without any kind of real fan support in the first half? So it doesn't look great for the Red Bulls. Still, FC Dallas could be missing a few players as well, including Jackson, who has been big for them this season. I like us to pull out a draw. 1-1 in a game that will be slow as molasses. Another one for Henry and a Marvin Chavez goal for Dallas.I can't see how the Red Bulls get anything from this game. The defense is in shambles, there's no creativity in the middle and the temperature is going to be hovering at about a 100 degrees (perfect FC Dallas weather). My prediction: Dallas romps 3-0.
Homebrew Tim has this for us:
A team that seems to have lost its way, playing in front of a flat supporters' section, in 100 degree, Dallas-like, heat. The heat will be so severe tomorrow that it will actually take a hit on attendance. If there's a bright side, I guess it's that the players can't possibly be fooling themselves anymore--there's trouble in (Passaic) River City. Juan Agudelo even tweeted that he needed to find his first touch, instead of bragging about being the team's best FIFA12 player. And Rafa should be back to take the place of a traffic cone at defense.Dan Dickinson has this for us:
Still, there's no reason to hope right now. We will be completely tapped from the heat by the 60th minute and no subs will have their number called. Lost and wilting, the Red Bulls lose 3-1. Lindpere's goal in the first half is shown no appreciation from our Supporters Who Sleep.
That Toronto FC game seems like it was ages ago, huh? Teemu being out - AGAIN - is terrifying, but Rafa being back almost seems like a good thing, since the shitshow has happened mostly while he was away. Brek Shea is going to test the hell out of the back four and Rost, as he likes to shoot from distance. Weather will be brutal and whether or not the South Ward protest amounts to anything remains to be seen. But I think the Bulls were probably embarrassed enough by Wednesday to be able to bounce back and at least draw. Let's call it 1-1, as Henry and Brek Shea continue to fight for the Golden Boot.Geoffrey Martin has this for us:
Poopoo. That's my prediction.Alrighty then! We'll have our usual Award Winning coverage in the next day, or two. I hope to see you all, later today, @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Viper out!