Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Harder to Breathe

Pop recording group Maroon 5 will be part of the attraction when Red Bull New York opens its home season next Saturday, April 8th, at Giants Stadium. The J Records recording artists will play at halftime of the RBNY-New England match, just part of the “special goings-on” that Red Bull hopes will bring folks to the Swamp for the match.

UPDATE: On Thursday, 3/30, RBNY announced that Shakira and Wyclef Jean would be playing the team's home opener instead.

Before the match, RBNY will host a motocross event and a “Hispanic concert” in the Giants Stadium parking lot for the tailgating masses. Will all the hoopla pay off in the form of ticket buyers? It’s too soon to say, but with the many free ticket promotions in place for the match, it’s obvious that the Front Office is trying to earn repeat business from customers by putting on a great show, in addition to the soccer that’ll be played.

That’s good, because last week’s RBNY results in Charleston did little to prove that the Bulls will have much to show on the field. RBNY went scoreless in losing three matches at the Carolina Challenge Cup, including the first-ever defeat by the host Battery over an MLS club in the three-year history of the tournament. With only six days remaining before the season opener in DC, Alexi & Mo are rumored to be placing a sacrifice at the feet of the Columbus Crew in order to get a natural striker. At this point, giving up Eddie Gaven and newly acquired defensive midfielder Danny O’Rourke for Westchester native Edson Buddle may not be the worst deal, if Mo is convinced that RBNY stalwart Mark Lisi can shoulder the load at D-Mid. Tick Tock. Time's a wasting.

Depressed in Dortmund

While it’s safe to say that Kerry Zavagnin, Brian Ching, and Chris Klein hurt their chances of landing on Il Bruce’s World Cup Roster, the most depressing Yank performance last Wednesday in Dortmund was from Tenalfy, NJ native Greg Berhalter, who gifted a German goal with a horrible miscue as the last line of defense in front of Kasey Keller. Berhalter has had a snakebitten tenure with the Nats, as his goal effort vs. the same Germans in the 2002 WC Quarterfinals was stopped by Torsten Frings’ hand. Berhalter was also whistled for a phantom handball in the final moments of a WCQ at Costa Rica in 2000. The resulting PK gave the Ticos a 2-1 win and made things tough for the US in that qualifying round. Does Arena leave Berhalter off the squad? Here are my eight defenders for the World Cup: Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Conrad, Gibbs, Lewis, Oneywu, Pope… and yes… Berhalter. What other choices does Bruce have? Albright? Olsen? Shudder the thought.

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