Monday, March 12, 2012

New York Red Bulls Debut New Away Kit (and Some Other Stuff That People Assure Me Doesn't Matter)

Dane Richards Sporting the New Kit
One thing that failed to get a mention on NBC Sports' broadcast of the Red Bulls 2-1 defeat in Dallas yesterday was the fact that RBNY debuted a new blue away kit. Based on the same template as the new 2012 home shirt, the away jersey features a lighter shade of blue than last year's sharp-looking dark navy kit with red trim, and is reminiscent of the 2008 and 2009 away strip.

There has yet to be an announcement from the club regarding the change. In his January 12, 2012 fan Q&A mailbag, Chris Heck, the Red Bulls' President of Business Operations, indicated that the club would continue wear the navy kit in 2012. MLS teams are typically on 2-year kit cycles, so it's anyone's guess as to why RBNY suddenly switched gears and felt that a change was necessary. Strangely, last year's shirt is still being sold at full price on the club website, while the new one is not yet available.

In the larger scheme of things, the color of the kit the players are wearing is insignificant. On the other hand, the team's failure to explain the change is in keeping with their unfortunate tradition of saying one thing, doing something else and failing to explain the whys and wherefores.

A few other notes:
  • Kudos to NBC Sports Network for doing a mostly excellent job with their inaugural MLS broadcast. The camera work was steady, the pre- and post-match analysis was well done, and the commentary team of Arlo White and Kyle Martino was mostly solid. (Note to Kyle Martino: Fordham is not in midtown Manhattan.) All in all, it was a refreshing change from FSC's policy of benign neglect, poor production values and steady diet of Levitra and Proactiv ads.
  • Big Apple Soccer's Michael Lewis takes a look at what went wrong for the Red Bulls in Dallas yesterday, and is spot-on in his analysis, particularly his questioning of Juan Agudelo in the starting lineup and his criticism of Roy Miller, who has become a complete liability. Here's hoping that Hans Backe has identified some of the issues Lewis cites and decides to shake things up in Salt Lake on Saturday. Connor Lade can't possibly do worse than Miller, while Victor Pálsson showed more in his brief appearance  in Dallas than Teemu Tainio or Dax McCarty did all afternoon. As for Cooper, he looked impressive and is almost certain to partner Henry at Rio Tinto, with the hugely disappointing Agudelo now away with the U.S. U23 team.
  • In addition to The Viper's Nest and Talking Bull (new episode coming this week), I'm happy to announce that I'll be contributing very brief match reports to mlsFLTR this season. You can find my first effort, as well as recaps from around the league, here.
That's it for now!
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