Monday, July 25, 2011

RBNY vs FC Dallas: How To Run A Team Into The Ground

So after playing on the west coast last weekend getting and getting pounded @altitude midweek, the Red Bulls returned home to face the second best team in MLS on Saturday. In the ensuing 90 minutes, the Red Bulls were lucky to get out of Harrison with a hard fought 2-2 draw. But nevermind the result. Let's examine the insanity that's going on at the moment:

With temperatures at a scorching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, surely Hans Backe would juggle his lineup just a bit. Well, since Rafa Marquez made his return from injury, and replaced Carlos Mendes in the lineup, I guess he did. Unfortunately, with Teemu Tainio and Luke, Luke, Luke Rodgers out with injuries, Backe's only move of the night was to replace an ineffective (and that's putting it mildly) Mehdi Ballouchy with Right Back Chris Albright, very late (82nd minute) in the second half.

With all due respect to Mr. Albright, I don't consider him the game changer that we so deperately needed in the 82nd minute, as we were losing 2-1 at that point. Thank the Gods for Thierry Henry's miracle equalizer in the 85th. Yet another draw but, let's get serious, down a man with only 5 minutes to go in regulation - we really should have lost this one. After the match, I was actually elated and procedeed to ask my friends: is this what it has come down to? Elation at getting a point - AT HOME?

Photo credit: Dan Dickinson

Really? A great first team, with three Designated Players to boot, and I'm feeling lucky to have seen them draw - AT HOME? Such is the state of our team that the great Hans Backe (who could do no wrong just a few months ago) is now seen as another JCO in the eyes of many supporters. Most of us have surmised that the silver haired Swede has not an ounce of faith in any of his bench players, and he confirmed as much in comments made after the match. He might even be right. But having given away much of our depth cheaply since last season, he's got no one to blame but himself. What I wouldn't give to have players like Mac Kandji, Sinisa, Tony Tchani (who's better than McCarty, imho), Danleigh Borman & Austin Da Luz still on our team.

Several RBNY first teamers will play in Wednesday's meaningless MLS All-Star game. Our whole team will then fly to London, England to play two even more meaningless games this coming weekend. Red Bulls fans can only pray there are no serious injuries in the next week and that several of our bench players get a good amount of playing time. If not, any potential Football managers out there can consider this a crash course on how to run a team into the ground.

Please click on the video above for Part I of our usual drunken comments and predictions. You can click here for Part II. Please click here for my photo album or you can click here for the slide show. Here's a few more pics, from the Star Ledger.

Photo credit: Dan Dickinson

It was just a weird time in the Supporter's Sections this time around. First of all, the great You Suck Corrales missed his first game in I don't know how long. Then the great Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) wasn't there, as he was eating Prawn Sandwiches in a nicely air-conditioned luxury Skybox suite. Then there was that little Supporter's protest in the first half. I was totally aware that the silent treatment was coming but it was still a bit eerie walking up the steps and hearing nothing. It was also a bit surreal to see no flags flying, and everyone sitting down, when I got to my section. I still think this protest could have been done differently, but whatever. Hopefully Red Bulls mananagement got the message.

That's all for now. I'll be at this coming Wednesday's meaningless exhibition (to which yet another RBNY player has been picked to play in) @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Viper Out!
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