Sunday, April 1, 2012

RBNY vs Impact: Bienvenue et Merci Beaucoup!

For the 5 goals and the 3 points! Can we play you every week? But seriously folks, this little MLS expansion team was a handful for 45 minutes. With several massive gaffes in the first half, RBNY was lucky to be going into the second half even at 2-2. That this game ended in a 5-2 rout, with a Thierry Henry hat-trick, was a miracle in itself - if one considers the travesty that was the first half.

Thierry Henry was, without question, the star in this one, with his three goals and one assist. The legendary Frenchman also, reportedly, gave his team mates an earful at half-time. His motivational speech lit a fire under his teammates' butts, as the Red Bulls played a brilliant second half, notching three unanswered goals after the interval.

Above picture courtesy of Matthew Kremkau

That brilliant second half had lots to do with the substitution of the ineffective (save for a nice cross to TH14) Rafa Marquez at the half, for Teenu Tainio, and the introduction of the much-maligned Moroccan Maradona (Mehdi Ballouchy) in the 69th minute. Tainio proved to be more on Rafa Marquez's level than Rafa Marquez himself (although Marquez was, reportedly, nursing a groin strain), and Ballouchy, once again, showed the talent he usually (reportedly) only shows at the training ground - even notching the best goal of the match (thanks to some TH14 magic).

Alrighty then! Next up, Columbus away. Can the Red Bulls keep rolling and make it 3 wins in a row? Will rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara bounce back from his first dismal performance as a pro? Will Wilman Conde quickly recover from the groin injury he picked up late in the second half? We shall soon find out.

Please click on the above video for drunken pre-game and half-time comments. Please click here for post-game comments. You can click here for my photo album from this one (slide show here). You can click here for a great set, courtesy of Matthew Kremkau. Finally, please click here for a some great photos from the official site.

The attendance at this one was very, very disappointing, to say the least. This was, most definitely, the first MLS game at Red Bull Arena where the attendance did not reach at least 10,000 (no matter what the announced attendance says). Still, the South Ward brought the ruckus, as always. A good showing as well from the Montreal Ultras, who traveled to the Garden State only to see their team get crushed. That's what it's all about boys and girls!

That's all for now! Hope to see you all soon @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Viper Out!
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