Friday, April 20, 2007

Red Bulls Preview: Game 3 vs. Creamsicles

What a difference a week makes. A 3-0 undressing of FC Dallas, followed by the signing of the proven goal scorer that the team has needed, and everything's coming up roses in Red Bull land. Even the sun came out in New York this morning for the first time in five days. Tomorrow night, the Red Bulls (1-0-1) take on the also-unbeaten defending champs Houston (1-0-1) on what should be a picture-perfect night at the Swamp. Here's what to look for in the MLS Cup Preview? I keed... I keed...

The Houston forwards vs. the Red Bulls' defense:
Paul Daiglish and Brian Ching vs. Hunter Freeman, Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Todd Dunivant (and Ronald Waterreus). New York has started the season with a 180-minute shutout streak, which can't be ignored. The Walrus, when not shivering himself off the field, looks to be in top form. New York's defense better be, because Houston's forwards are strong and talented. World Cup vet Ching is the more experienced of the two, and he has the Dynamo's only goal of the season, last week vs. Chivas. Alejandro Moreno is a strong option off the bench for Houston. Slight Advantage: Houston

New York's attackers vs. the Dynamo's defense:
Jozy Altidore and Clint Mathis vs. Kelly Gray, Wade Barrett, Craig Waibel, and Eddie Robinson (and Pat Onstad). The Jozy and Cleetus show was quite the underwater act last week. Clint looks happy, engaged, and driven, which makes him a threat to pull up and shoot from anywhere near the Houston net. The Dynamo D, however, is not to be discounted, as they've yet to concede a goal this year in matches vs. both LA clubs. Waibel has a hammy tweak and may not start. Advantage: Push

The Midfields:
Rico Clark, Brad Davis, Dwayne DeRosario, and Brian Mullan vs. Dema Kovalenko, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh and Dane Richards. Assuming Captain America will be sitting out another week to rest his knee, the experienced, offensive-minded Houston midfield is easily the better group. As usual, former Metros Clark and Davis will look to do something special on their return to New York. Advantage: Houston

UPDATE:
As of 5pm on Friday, BigAppleSoccer is reporting that Reyna will start tomorrow night.

The Coaches:
Houston coach Dom Kinnear has the experienced, successful team he wants on the field right now. Arena the Bruce has to wait for his Angel. Advantage: Houston

Intangibles:
Without the Nor'easter levelling the field this week, It's hard to point the intangibles in New York's way. Cleetus is always the X-factor. The crowd should top 15K on a beautiful night for soccer. Advantage: Push

Prediction: If you'd have told me that Houston, with all the club's firepower, would have only scored once in two matches, I'd be shocked. Powered by their midfield, they break out this week. Houston wins, 3-2.

Boob Tubing

Here's the weekend's matches, times ET. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 21
9:25am: GER: Stuttgart-Bayern Munich, GOL
10:00am: EPL: Charlton-Sheffield U., FSC
11:30am: GER: Schalke-Energie Cottbus, GOL
12noon: EPL: Man. United-Middlesbrough, FSC
2:00pm: ESP: Real Sociedad-Atletico Madrid, GOL
2:15pm: EPL: Bolton-Reading, FSC
4:00pm: ITA: AC Milan-Cagliari, GOL
6:00pm: MEX: Monterrey-Jaguares, GALA
7:30pm: MLS: New York-Houston, FSC
7:30pm: COL: Independiente Santa Fe-Cucuta, GOL
8:00pm: MEX: Chivas-Veracruz, TF
8:30pm: MLS: Chicago-Kansas City, HDNet
10:00pm: MEX: Necaxa-Atlas, GALA
10:30pm: MLS: Chivas USA-Salt Lake, FSN West, DK

Sunday, April 22
9:00am: ITA: Lazio-Fiorentina, FSC
9:00am: ITA: Siena-Inter Milan, GOL
11:00am: EPL: Aston Villa-Portsmouth, FSC
11:00am: ESP: Real Zaragoza-Celta Vigo, GOL
1:00pm: ESP: Sevilla-Atletico Bilboa, GOL
1:00pm: ITA: Catania-Ascoli, FSC
1:00pm: MEX: Pumas-San Luis, UNI
3:00pm: MLS: Dallas-Colorado, TF
3:00pm: ESP: Villareal-Barcelona, GOL
5:00pm: ARG: Gimnasia-Estudiantes, FSC
5:00pm: ESP: Real Madrid-Valencia, GOL
5:00pm: MEX: Club America-Atlante, TF
7:00pm: COL: America de Cali-Millonarios, GOL
9:30pm: GUA: Municipal-Comunicaciones, GOL

1 comment:

Sportingo said...

Greetings,

I really enjoyed reading your entry on this week's MLS action. I would like to speak with you about publishing some of your future articles on soccer.

Cheers,
michelle@sportingo.com