Friday, April 6, 2012


What's That Rising from the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetlands?

The New York Red Bulls have made their way to Columbus to take on the Crew and their ridiculous slogan, "Dare to be Massive" (I kid you not), the team’s sub situation has gotten even more intriguing with a plethora of lingering injuries and training knocks. That means just one thing to loyal SUB WATCH readers: with the right info and insights, there is money to be made! And by “money to be made,” I mean “fun to be had.” As always, SUB WATCH is for informational purposes only. Wager at your own risk!

The news on everyone’s lips from last week is, of course, the injury substitution of Teemu Tainio for Rafa Marquez who strained his groin. There are rumors of Henry doing something as well, but I haven’t had time to investigate. Tainio’s entrance just before half marks a new season low for first sub at 45’. Sources tell me that very few punters were cashed in on this early sub, coming in just the fourth game of the season. But it seems like the injury bug is catching.

In addition to Rafa, his defensive counterpart Wilman Conde also has a groin strain. Don’t think too hard about this coincidence as it will only lead to unsavory images in your head. What you SHOULD think about is the sub impact. Could we see Connor Lade get his first defensive start for the Red Bulls? Probably not. That job would likely go to Stephen Keel--and Keel is also the probable sub if Conde starts but can't finish on Saturday. KEEL: BUY

Joel Lindpere was nearly hobbled by a number of shin kicks in the Montreal game and he has not looked as sharp as usual this far. SUB WATCH sees a potential role reversal for Lindpere and the one they call “Doctor Midnight,” Mehdi Ballouchy. Mehdi in the starting XI is a distinct possibility, in which case Lindpere offers great value. LINDPERE: BUY/HOLD

SUB WATCH 2012 Sleeper candidate Brandon Barklage remains a great value—especially if you parlay him with the 89th minute. BARKLAGE: BUY

So who is the SUB WATCH loser this week? I have to go with Victor Palsson. Backe isn’t necessarily a “once bitten, twice shy” type of person, but Palsson’s shambolic start against RSL combined with a healthy Tainio and recent strong(er) performances from Dax and Mehdi have narrowed Palsson’s sub window considerably. PALSSON: SELL BUY--late breaking news that Tainio's training knock will keep him out of the lineup increases Palsson's chances to make a sub appearance. I'd still be surprised to see him enter the game ahead of either Mehdi or Dax, but SUB WATCH plays the odds here.

That’s all for now. Next week, SUB WATCH will seek answers to the question: When he finally make a sub appearance, at what minute will Corey Hertzog take the field for the Red Bulls?

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