Monday, August 13, 2007

Munching on the Maple Leafs

Nice to see the Red Bulls avoid playing down to the level of its opponent. New York dominated an injury-depleted last place Toronto FC squad 3-0 yesterday at Giants Stadium. The Red Bulls got a goal from Juan Pablo Angel and two scores from Jozy Altidore in the win, and held TFC, missing both starting forwards, without single shot on goal in the match.

Down the stretch, New York (9-7-3) will have more matches like this to overcome, as six of the club's 11 remaining matches are with the bottom four teams in MLS:

Team, Record, Matches vs. NY
RSL, 2-9-6, Sept. 29 at NY
LAG, 3-7-5, Aug. 18 at NY, Oct. 18 at LA
TFC, 5-10-5, Oct. 4 at TOR
CHI, 5-8-5, Sept. 1 at NY, Sept. 15 at CHI

Of course, it's not just the bottom-feeders on the NY schedule. The Red Bulls will face its key Eastern Conf. rivals and make an extra trip to LA on the way to the playoffs:

NE, 10-4-6, Aug. 25 at NE, Sept. 22 at NY
DCU, 9-6-3, Aug. 22 at DC
CHV, 8-6-3, Sept. 9 at LA
KC, 8-6-5, Oct. 13 at NY

New York can thank the schedule-maker for putting matches vs. Western Conference heavies Houston and Dallas early in the season, making the quest for a top-four finish and a Superliga 2008 berth a realistic goal.

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