Friday, August 10, 2007

Red Bulls Preview: Game 19 vs. Hosers

The Red Bulls (8-7-3) haven't played a match (other than standing around in Central Park this week) since an 0-2 home loss to Chivas on July 26th. New York has scored two goals in its last six outings, and has dropped from first place on July 8th to fourth place today.

Toronto FC (5-9-5) may be one of the few sides that New York may feel comfortable playing right now. The men from T.O. are on a five-match winless streak, and haven't scored in 372 minutes since #1 draft pick Maurice Edu scored at Chicago in a 1-1 draw on July 7th.

Recent Form/Playoff Position:
New York: LWLWL/4th in East, would face the Revs in 1st round
Toronto: DDLLD/7th in East, six points from playoff position

Here's a line-by-line look at what to expect:

The Toronto forwards vs. the Red Bulls' defense:
Andrea Lombardo and Colin Samuel vs. Hunter Freeman, Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, and Kevin Goldthwaite (and Ronald Wattereus). Toronto, in their inaugural season, has scored only 18 goals in 19 matches, and will be without starting forwards Jeff Cunningham (3g) and Denny Dicho (5g). Sunday's starting forwards have only one goal between them this season. The big layoff should help New York's defense considerably if Jeff Parke has rounded back into shape and Ron Wattereus has returned to form. The Red Bulls have conceded only three goals in their last four matches. Advantage: New York

New York's attackers vs. the TFC defense:
Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore vs. Todd Dunivant, Jim Brennan, Tyrone Marshall, and Andrew Boyens (and Kenny Stamatopoulos). As foes have figured out how to stop Angel (double team him, don't let him turn), the Red Bulls scoring production has completely evaporated. Arena may choose to play a 4-3-3 including Wolyniec to add some punch. Despite the winless streak, TFC's defense has been strong, only giving up six goals in their last five outings, with two shutouts. Stamataopoulos, Toronto's Greek keeper, made his debut last Sunday with a shutout vs. Los Angeles. Advantage: Push

The Midfields:
Seth Stammler, Claudio Reyna, Clint Mathis and Dane Richards vs. Andy Welsh, Carl Robinson, Chris Pozniak, and Joey Melo. There's been a APB out for Clint Mathis since early May. At a time when New York is hurting for goals, New York needs Mathis to regain his form, and fast. Without the re-injured Dema Kovalenko, the Red Bulls need the fire to come from somewhere. Melo has two MLS starts for TFC. Advantage: New York

The Coaches:
Bruce Arena hasn't been able to pull New York out of its midseason funk (2-4-1 in last seven). The club is finally mostly healthy, but Bruce may be starting to feel some heat from management after last week's home loss. Mo Johnston is suffering through an avalanche of injuries in his first season, but the great crowds in Toronto have given him a free pass this season. TFC has nothing to lose. Advantage: Push

The Red Bull FO has bundled tickets to Sunday's match with next week's Beckham game, so a large turnout (20k+) is possible if the weather's good. Rested and healthy, New York has no excuses. Toronto will be without many top players (K Sutton, Fs Cunningham, Dichio, M O'Brien, D Wynne), so even with a modest effort, New York should come out on top. Advantage: New York

Prediction: While it's hard to imagine the Red Bulls losing this match, New York must attack early and often to put the game out of reach in the first half. There's not much good feeling around the club right now, but Toronto may be visiting at just the right time New York wins, 2-0.

Television Guide
The new EPL Season highlights this week's TV lineup (times ET):

Saturday, August 11th:
9:25a: GER: Bayern Munich-Hansa Rostock, GOL
9:55a: EPL: West Ham-Manchester City, FSC
11:30a: GER: Bochum-Werder Bremen, GOL
12noon: EPL: Aston Villa-Liverpool, FSC
2:15p: EPL: Derby County-Portsmouth, FSC
4:00p: INTL: Friendly, Yokohama-Barcelona, TM
6:00p: MEX: San Luis-Necaxa, GALA
7:00p: COL: Cucuta-Millonarios, GOL
8:00p: MEX: Chivas-Tecos, TF
8:30p: MLS: Dallas-Columbus, FSC
9:00p: MLS: Colorado-Houston, HDNet
10:00p: MEX: Atlante-Pumas, GALA
11:00p: USL: PDL Final, Michigan-Laredo, FSC
12mid: MEX: Monterrey-Puebla, GALA

Sunday, August 12th:
7:00a: EPL: Arsenal-Fulham, FSC
10:55a: GER: Nuremberg-Karlsruhe, GOL
11:00a: EPL: Manchester United-Reading, FSC
1:00p: MEX: Toluca-Santos, UNI
1:00p: GUA: Comunicaciones-Jalapa, GOL
1:00p: INTL: Friendly, Hong Kong XI-Barcelona, TM
1:00p: INTL: USWNT-New Zealand, ESPN2
3:00p: ARG: River Plate-Newell's Old Boys, FSC
4:00p: ESP: SuperCopa, Sevilla-Real Madrid, TM
5:00p: MLS: New York-Toronto, FSNY
5:00p: MLS: New England-Los Angeles, GALA
5:00p: MEX: Club America-Jaguares, TF
6:15p: COL: Dep. Cali-Tolima, GOL

No comments: