Friday, September 19, 2008


A listless Red Bulls squad took it on the chin last night, 3-1 at league-leading Columbus.  Even playing with playmaker Guillermo Barros Schellotto, the Crew were too quick, too skilled, and too composed for New York.  Other than a beauty of a free kick goal from Angel, the Red Bulls just weren't connecting on offense.  New York is now 1-7-5 on the road this season, and a 4-7-7 in night games (vs. 4-1-1 in day matches).

So where does the loss leave New York?  Frankly, dropping a spot in the standings behind DC wouldn't be so bad.  A 5th place Eastern finish would send the Red Bulls into the Western playoff bracket to face a Houston side that New York has played well against this season (a 3-0 win at home, a tight 0-1 loss in Texas).  Should the Red Bulls finish 4th in the East (catching 3rd place Chicago is unlikely) New York would match up against the Crew in the first round of the MLS playoffs.  After last night, that's not an encouraging scenario.  

Of course, DC's involvement in the Concacaf Champions League may challenge them to keep their place in the MLS standings.  United will play two matches per week for the next five weeks, including trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras.  Unless DC plays their subs (as they did in a 2-0 home loss to Saprissa this week) in the CCL, United's playoff drive may suffer significantly.

Following the Yanks

I had the good pleasure of taking in the US' 3-0 spanking of Trinidad at Toyota Park on Septmeber 10th.  The trip was my first to Bridgeview, and I came away very pleased with the TP experience.  The trip on the El/bus combo took a while from the Loop (about an hour).  Bridgeview, though, is collection of low-slung industrial parks.  The stadium is truly in the middle of nowhere.  Once inside, however, TP is a soccer-lover's dream, with great lighting and an intimate atmosphere (though the sparse crowd was disappointing).  The pitch was perfect, especially when one's used to Giants Stadium.  Food was decent, and the crowd was engaged.  Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Toyota Park.

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