Friday, May 04, 2007

Red Bulls Preview: Game 5 @ Kreis' Kowboys

The Red Bulls will have had 9 days to rest up after their win at Dallas before hitting the spray-painted turf at Rice-Eccles on Saturday night to take on Real Salt Lake (0-2-2). Between a team management shuffle, a stadium funding fiasco, and underperformance on the field, you'd think I was talking about the 90's-era MetroStars, rather than the Utahns. RSL, however, is "starting fresh" this week, with a newbie coach whose spotless record can provide only optimism along the Wasatch Front. Only because it can't get any worse.

New York (3-0-1) spent another week at the top of everyone's "Power Rankings" list, and as we all know, there's only one way to travel from there. NY has had trouble with RSL over the Utah club's existence, with draws in three straight matches before an emphatic six-nil win at the Swamp last August 26th.

Here's a line-by-line look at what to expect on Saturday (9pm ET, HDNet):

The RSL forwards vs. the Red Bulls' defense:
Jeff Cunningham vs. Hunter Freeman, Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Todd Dunivant (and Ronald Waterreus). Every minute that New York's Dutch Master keeps RSL off the board extends the Red Bulls' MLS clean-sheet record, and considering that Salt Lake hasn't scored a league goal since the 51st minute on April 7th, I'd look for that trend to continue. Advantage: New York

New York's attackers vs. the Salt Lake defense:
Jozy Altidore vs. Jack Stewart, Eddie Pope, Daniel Torres, Willis Forko (and Chris Seitz). Jozy has a three-match point streak going, and RSL's defense is giving up two goals per game. This could get ugly. Seitz, taking over from an awful Nick Rimando is net, has tons of upside potential. Advantage: New York

The Midfields:
Chris Klein, Mehdi Ballouchy, Kenny Cutler, Carey Talley, and Freddy Adu vs. Dema Kovalenko, Claudio Reyna, Clint Mathis, Dave van den Bergh and Dane Richards. Here's where things get interesting. RSL's midfield is clearly its strongest line, though they'll lack the on-field leadership that Jason Kreis provided. The speedy Richards and towering VDB should be able to control the wings, and Captain America should be able to manage Sir Freddy with aplomb. Slight Advantage: New York

The Coaches:
Bruce Arena has been nothing but modest about New York's start, which has been nothing short of sensational. Kreis will get a pass from the hometown crowd in his first-ever head coaching opportunity. Advantage: New York

Intangibles:
The RSL crowd is knowledgeable and supportive, and see a new start with Kreis at the helm. The weather report calls for a High of 56 and 30% chance of showers. Advantage: RSL

Prediction: Beginner's luck may help Kreis, but New York has the talent and team cohesion to take the game to RSL from the opening whistle. The only drama will be whether the Red Bulls can serve up another shutout. I say they can. New York wins, 2-0.

Television Man

Here's what on your tube this weekend. Enjoy! (all times ET):

Saturday, May 5 (Happy Cinco de Mayo!):
9:25am: GER: Schalke-Nuremberg, GOL
10:00am: EPL: West Ham-Bolton, FSC
11:30am: GER: Stuttgart-Mainz, GOL
12 noon: EPL: Aston Villa-Sheffield United, FSC
1:00pm: MLS: Kansas City-Columbus, ONN, Metro Sports, DK
2:00pm: ESP: Real Sociedad-Barcelona, GOL
2:15pm: EPL: Everton-Portsmouth, FSC
4:00pm: ESP: Deportivo La Coruna-Valencia, GOL
7:25pm: MEX: San Luis-Santos, GALA
7:30pm: COL: Bucaramanga-Atl. Nacional, GOL
9:00pm: MLS: Salt Lake-New York, HDNet
9:30pm: MLS: Colorado-Houston, FSC
9:30pm: HON: Marathon-Olimpia, GOL
9:30pm: MEX: Atlas-Monarcas, GALA

Sunday, May 6:
9:00am: ITA: Lazio-Livorno, FSC
9:00am: ITA: AC Milan-Fiorentina, GOL
11:00am: EPL: Arsenal-Chelsea, FSC
11:00am: GER: Hertha Berlin-Werder Bremen, GOL
1:00pm: ESP: Espanyol-Atl. Madrid, GOL
1:00pm: ITA: Cagliari-Chievo, FSC
3:00pm: MLS: DC United-Chivas USA, TF
3:00pm: ESP: Real Madrid-Sevilla, GOL
5:00pm: ARG: River Plate-Independiente, FSC
5:00pm: MLS: New England-Chicago, TV38, DK, CSN Chicago @ 8pm SDD
5:00pm: URU: Penarol-Tacuarembo, GOL
7:00pm: COL: Ind. Sante Fe-Millonarios, GOL

1 comment:

Nick said...

Sorry I missed the game...what's going on? You guys lost in the 90th? I guess the end is near...so it starts.

Clint was on fire...wish he was on my Fantasy team!