Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Red Bulls Take on Galaxy in Arizona

Come On Thierry - Score Us a Goal or Two!
Sorry, folks! It's been an unusually long time between posts for us, but sometimes life just has a nasty habit of getting in the way. What's been happening in Red Bull Land while we've gone quiet? Not a hell of a lot, to be honest. RBNY dropped their second match of the preseason Desert Diamond Cup to New England Revolution by a score of 2-0, but because of the Reto Del Sol match just days earlier, it was almost entirely a reserve and trialist team that Hans Backe selected against the Revs. One positive was the first competitive minutes as a Red Bull for defender Wilman Conde, who is slowly recovering from foot surgery.

Of slightly greater concern is the fact that the Red Bulls have now gone 332 minutes of preseason play without scoring a goal, a streak they hope to break this evening when they take on Los Angeles Galaxy down in Tucson (video preview here, streamed on at 10PM ET).  So far, the Red Bulls midfield play has been somewhat sloppy, and good scoring chances have been at a premium. But with makeshift lineups being used and key players such as Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo missing, that's to be expected.

Our very own You Suck Corrales is carrying the flag for us down in Arizona, and hopefully his passion and energy will inspire the boys to put in a solid performance tonight. (Incidentally, the fact that YSC has never been recognized as Fan of the Year is one of the world's great unsolved mysteries.) The Red Bulls will be without several players as a result of international call-ups, including Rafa Marquez, Joel Lindpere, Roy Miller and Agudelo. Victor Pálsson will also sit the game out with a minor knee injury. Los Angeles will be without Landon Donovan, who is still recovering from illness, and Edson Buddle, who got a few minutes for the USMNT this afternoon in their shocking 1-0 victory over Italy in Genoa.

As New York continues to prep for the season opener against FC Dallas on March 11, there are still plenty of questions left unresolved. Chief among these is the visa situation of Luke Rodgers. A hearing scheduled for March 8 should yield some answers, but it's hard to understand why it's come down to a decision just three days before Opening Day. Likewise, the Red Bulls goalkeeper situation remains in flux. It appears at this point that either Ryan Meara or Jeremy Vuolo will find himself between the pipes in Dallas, but there's still an outside chance that RBNY will try to add an experienced third keeper before all is said and done. I discussed Rodgers, the goalkeeping situation and a lot more with Dan Feuerstein and Big Apple Soccer's Michael Lewis on Tuesday's Feuerstein's Fire podcast. We're on the final hour.

A few additional notes before we go:
  • Speaking of Big Apple Soccer, they've recently launched a new feature called "The Red Bulls' Analyst" (God knows the team and its fans need one), penned by Chris Brandon. You can find the inaugural column - on the goalkeeping conundrum - here.
  • Frequent Seeing Red! questioner and good friend of The Viper's Nest Nick Chavez recently started interning at a start-up soccer company called One Goal, which is focused on spreading the love of the sport in the States through the visual medium. You can find their Facebook page here.
  • According to the great Jack Bell of the New York Times, Red Bull Arena has been selected as the host stadium for the 2012 Trophée des Champions, or French Super Cup, which is contested between the previous season's winners of Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France. Unfortunately, the match falls on the same day as the Red Bulls second trip of the year to Montreal, which may keep some fans - including yours truly - from attending.
 That's it for now. Enjoy the match tonight and COYRB!
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