Photo credit: Baiji
Good afternoon! It's a glorious Saturday here in Red Bulls Land. Alas, our glorious club is in beautiful Montreal, Quebec, to take on MLS expansion side Montreal Impact (7:30pm ET, MSG, match notes here). It will be the second meeting of these two Eastern Conference rivals this season. The first, played @The Cathedral of Football, ended in a 5-2 RBNY rout. L'Impact will, no doubt, be looking for a measure of revenge for that thrashing. Will all that in mind, let's see how both clubs come into this one.
The Red Bulls are in the midst of an unlikely 4 game win streak. Without several of their big guns (Thierry Henry, cough, cough...), the Red Bulls have managed 3 clean sheets and a 3-2 (fortunate) victory @Philthy. With Thierry Henry sitting this one out and the unsettled Juan Agudelo just having been traded to Chivas USA, the Red Bulls will be thin up top - probably relying on Dane Richards partnering Kenny Cooper today. Also, with the much maligned Morrocan Maradona (Medhi Ballouchi) unable to make the trip (due to his never-ending visa issues) the Red Bulls will be very short of creativity in the middle. Newest Red Bull Heath Pearce, just acquired in the Agudelo trade, might be thrown into the fire right away. Can the Red Bulls backline hold? Will the Red Bulls be able to overcome the defensive liabilies of both Marquez and Palsson (listed as a probable starter)? Can Ryan Meara stand on his head again? We'll soon find out, Red Bulls fans.
The Montreal Impact are riding a 4 game streak of their own. The Quebeckistan outfit is unbeaten in 4, posting a 2 win, 2 draw record since a loss against DC on April 14th. Montreal will be looking to tame Kenny Cooper and take advantage of NY's defensive liabilities (Rafa Marquez, cough, cough...). They'll also be looking to bury their "second-half ghosts" (they've conceded 11 goals in the final 45 minutes this season) once and for all. Red Bulls fans can only hope they're not successful with that this game. But nevermind all that, let's get to some predictions!
Matt Conroy (aka Who Shot Sam) has this for us:
It's hard to pick against the Red Bulls right now. Everyone assumed they would fall to pieces without Henry, but it's been just the opposite. Montreal is a pretty decent team at home, but I like RBNY to extend its win streak to five. 2-0 RBNY win. Goals from Richards and Lindpere.
I'm going to go with another 1-0 to RBNY, with King Kenny getting the lone tally and Meara getting his 4th clean sheet of the season.
Homebrew Tim has this for us:
Maybe it's the eau de Quebec, but I'm getting a bad vibe about this match. With Rafa on the pitch, we've got about a 40% chance of a beautiful assist over the top, and a 90% chance of giving up at least two goals when he leaves the center backs hung out to dry. I don't like the 4-5-1 against a decent pair of central defenders. We have one less attacking option with Ballouchy unable to cross the border. Add to all of this the turf-covered ashtray called Olympic Stadium, Montreal's decent home record and their own 4-game unbeaten streak, and I'm seeing a letdown game. 2-1 to Le Hunhhunh Blunhbluh. Dax puts one in with a well-timed run into the box like he always seems to do on FIFA12. Rafa makes the defense look woeful, and confuses the refs when he angrily whips the ball at his own teammate, newly acquired Heath Pearce.
Tom Faust has this for us:
Flukey goals, questionable opponent red cards and the continued season-saving play of Ryan Meara: everything's coming up Red Bull! If the players can fight off the suicidal feelings induced by the depressing Stade Olympique, they should notch another win, despite L'Impact's growing competence. I'll play the odds and predict another 1-0 RBNY win via a Barklage long ball deflecting off Kenny Fuckin' Cooper's ass.
David Kilpatrick (aka Dr.K.) has this for us:
We shall treat Montreal like the merde they are! 1-4 RBNY, as the defense will continue to gel. Pulling for Dane, Coop and Lindpere all to score. Allez les Rouges!
Last, but not least, the great You Suck Corrales has this for us:
I have to believe another victory is in the cards. 1-0 to NYRB. Goal by Heath Pearce. Mr Backe's perfect vision will be there for all to see!