|Was A Dominating Win Over Houston A True Indication of Things to Come for RBNY?|
After an uninspiring but not altogether surprising start to the season, the Red Bulls have managed to string together two wins in a row, both coming in mid-week games that the Red Bull faithful love to hate. However, the combination of moving the start time to a more reasonable 7:30 and winning performances may change that attitude.
While the win over Philly was exciting just for the novelty, the Houston game was something altogether different. In advance of the game, injuries to Tim Cahill and others, as well as a Sekagya red card, meant a thinner than normal bench and worries that Petke would be left with few of the options he has needed to get the team back into games. Those fears were misplaced as Bradley Wright-Phillips put 3 on the Dynamo in a showcase that the fans have been waiting for, making him the first Englishman to notch a hattrick in MLS
But there is a bigger story here. While BWP starred, the entire team was the engine behind this win. The transformation from not just earlier in the season, but the week before was truly amazing: crisp passes, fluid movement, and even that rarest of sights, the vertical through ball in the box! Don't know what Petke put into the team's Wheaties, but I hope they bought a lot of it!
As always, the great Luis Robles (and lots of howlers from the Dynamo strikers) were another key to the win.
The match against Columbus will be a true test of whether the Red Bulls' newfound quality is here to stay. While RBNY on the road is never cause for confidence, the Crew have struggled a bit with only 1 win in their last 4 fixtures. Let's see what our "experts" have to say:
The Big Viper's excitement from Wednesday has disappeared:
We suck away. Columbus has been pretty good this year and they do have Federico Higuain (who's been scoring massive Fantasy points for me, mates!). I can only, realistically, hope for a draw, but I'm thinking it's a loss. 3-1 to Columbus.
Matt Conroy, aka Who Shot Sam sez:
That performance against Houston was pretty dominant, but there were some warning signs too. We are still far too reliant on Luis Robles to bail out our leaky defense, and were actually outshot by the Dynamo. I'm struggling to understand how a club managed by Mike Petke and Robin Fraser is so poor on defensive basics, and I think Petke is wondering the same thing, if his post-game interview is any indication. But we seem to have figured out some stuff from an attacking standpoint, and as much as I've hated on Eric Alexander during the early part of the season I have to admit that he has done well on the left over the last two weeks. So I will go for a draw here. Higuain goal cancelled out by one at the other end by Thierry Henry. 1-1 draw.
There you have it. Another road game next week in Dallas, then we'll see you all out at the Cathedral of football when Chicago Fire comes to town on Mother's Day weekend.