Sunday, March 17, 2013

Red Bulls vs DC United: Firing Blanks

And we're back! The season opener here at last and a chance to stick an early season dagger into the DC scum. Unfortunately, it was not to be as the NY Red Bulls and DC United played to a dissapointing (to Red Bulls fans) 0-0 draw on a cold, wintry day @The Cathedral of Football.

The pre-game festivities (motor cross, skydivers and fireworks) were, as usual, top-notch, but the botched National Anthem proved to be a harbinger of thing to come.

This game featured everything but a goal. The first half featured plenty of bad play, with players inexplicably letting easy balls go out of bounds, touches that were seen on a regular basis back in 1996 (Savarese-like touches for all you old school Metro fans) and errant passes galore. There was also some really good play and lots of chances (and half-chances) were created by RBNY. DC was, largely, kept in check and a dominant RBNY really should have had one, or two goals at the break.

The second half was all Red Bulls and how the ball didn't end up in the back of the DC net is beyond me. It was total Red Bulls domination, with Espindola, Henry, Alexander and Cahill all wasting chances that should have made this one a historic goleada. It was not to be, however, and at the the final whistle we were left with a 0-0 that felt like a loss. Two points dropped against an opponent that had but one good chance the whole game, was not a good way to start it all off at home. In the words of the great Mike Petke, “You have those days. And it sucks."

Was there something positive about this game? Well, besides the hard fought point, there was the complete absence of one Costa Rican left back (whose name should not be spoken out loud). But nevermind that "addition by subtraction" - the play of one Markus Holgersson was the most positive thing (for me) about this game. A Holgersson/Olave center back tandem not only paid big dividends with great defensive play, but allowed Heath Pearce to take the left back spot. With Brandon Barklage on the right, and the tenacious Dax McCarty (my Man of The Match) in front of the center backs, the defensive line was (dare I say it) rock solid. I liked what I saw and we can all only hope there is more of this to come.

Please click on the video top for pre-game and half-time comments. Please click here for post-game comments. Please click here for my photo album (slide show here). You can also click here for a very nice album, courtesy of Matt Kremkau (slide show here).

Despite the dissapointing draw, a great time was had by all in the South Ward sections! A fantastic Tifo display, as always, lots of flag waving and constant singing through the match (although I'm sure Don Garber wasn't pleased with one "fan favorite" - but what else is new). The Supporters did their part but, unfortunately, revenge wasn't ours on this cold, snowy day. Onwards to Montreal now and (hopefully) three points to the good.

Hope to see you all next time @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is out!

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