Saturday, July 2, 2011

Matchday @San Jose: Earthquakes vs Red Bulls

Good afternoon! The Red Bulls are back in MLS action today vs the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30pm ET, ESPN2). The Earthquakes usually play @Buckshaw Stadium (pictured above) but they moved this match to the much larger Stanford Stadium. As of yesterday, 30,000 tickets had been sold, so it should be a fantastic atmosphere. Let's take a look at how both teams come into this one:

The Earthquakes are coming off a very dissapointing 0-0 home draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy played the whole of the second half a man down, with a field player (former MetroBull Mike Magee) in goal. The Quakes tried and tried, but Magee held them scoreless. To add insult to injury, Magee earned Save of The Week honors for his heroics. Needless to say, the Quakes will looking to take their frustrations out on RBNY. They'll also be looking to avenge that 3-0 loss to RBNY earlier this season.

The Red Bulls will be looking to get back on track and end this grueling 4 game road trip on a high. They'll be coming into this one with several players back in the lineup and with a sense of urgency to get a win. With Thierry Henry highly annoyed at giving away ridiculous goals, the Red Bulls will have to tighten up in the back ASAP. Tim Ream shoud start and the newest Red Bull, Dax McCarty, could make his debut. With all that in mind, let's get to some predictions.

Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
The Red Bulls have Ream and Agudelo back from Gold Cup duty, but Rafa is still sidelined. It will be interesting to see how McCarty works alongside Tainio now that DeRo is gone. I think there could be an adjustment period. San Jose are scoreless over their last two games, but they get Wondo back from the USMNT. They'll also be playing in front of a larger crowd than normal, but at the unfamiliar Stanford Stadium. The safe bet would be a draw here, but I like the Red Bulls to finally get their second win on the road. Going way out on a limb I'll predict 3-1 Red Bulls. Goals from Agudelo, Henry and Lindpere. Wondo for the bad guys.
I'm going to predict a Red Bulls loss here. San Jose couldn't score on Mike Magee last week but they'll have Wondo back for this one. Going to say 1-0 to San Jose, although I certainly hope I'm wrong.

Homebrew Tim has this for us:
I don't know why, but my Spidey-Sense is tingling and I'm anticipating a Red Bulls victory tonight. With Ream helping to settle down the back line, and the return to a flat 4-4-2, along with two natural strikers up top (which we haven't had in weeks) and Dane back on the wing, I think we can put up a 3-1 (RBNY) victory, with a brace from Henry and a goal from Richards. (Disregard if Sutton is between the pipes).
Dan Dickinson has this for us:
At least we're more rested than we were for Chicago. There are two key decisions that are going to make or break this game: does Ream pair with Mendes or Keel, and who starts in goal (since Jan Halvor Halvorson said he hadn't decided yet). Wondo being back means the defense may get tested, but if the rest of San Jose can't score on Mike Magee while a man up, I don't think they're particularly threatening. 2-0 win for the Bulls on goals from Henry and Richards and an assist from Dax McCarty, who I expect will blend in better than DeRo did.
Geoffrey Martin has this for us:
Red Bulls squeak by 1-0, or some other scoreline with a 1-goal margin
David Kilpatrick has this for us:
A 1-2 road win for the Bulls.
That's all for now. We'll have Award Winning coverage of this one in the next day, or two. Have a great Fouth of July!
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