Friday, July 21, 2006

All Aboard the Red Bull Train

Two wins in a row and there's some real momentum around the Red Bulls heading into Saturday's home match vs. The Wiz, under new head coach (and former Metro) Brian Bliss. With a win and help, New York can solidify their renaissance under interim head coach Richie Williams. Here's a preview...

The Kansas City forwards vs. The Red Bulls' back line:
Eddie Johnson and Josh Wolff vs. Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Marvell Wynne and Seth Stammler (and Jon Conway). KC's two national-team forwards should be melding together, though the two each have only two goals in their nine MLS games to date this season. Even with the World Cup assignment, defender Jose Burciaga should be the leading scorer on this club. The Red Bulls have posted back to back shutouts for the first time in three years, albeit against the league's bottom feeders. It's hard to imagine a shutout against such talented strikers, but NY has the hot hand here, even moreso if Todd Dunivant gets on the field. Advantage: New York

New York's attackers vs. The Wizards defense:
Jean Philippe Peguero and Edson Buddle vs. Tyson Wahl, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, and Jose Burciaga (and Bo Oshoniyi). The JPP scoring drought is now seven games long. Perhaps opposing defenses are keying on him. Buddle had a beautiful diagonal pass to set up NY's first goal on Wednesday in Columbus, but neither NY striker is in stellar form right now. The Wizards have a veteran defense anchored by World Cup vet Jimmy Conrad, though KC has let in 26 goals in 18 games, 2nd worst in the league. Advantage: Push

The Midfielders:
New York's Danny O'Rourke, Chris Henderson, Amado Guevara, and Mike Magee vs. Kansas City's Alex Zotinca, Sasha Victorine, Kerry Zavagnin, and Lance Watson. Yes, Chris Henderson is old. Yes, he did score a fantastic goal from a crazy angle in Columbus on Wednesday. No, he can't seem to serve crosses of any quality whatsoever. Amado continues to heat up like Vinny(The Microwave) Johnson. For KC's veteran midfield, the coaching change may be wake-up call to get them going. I don't think so. Advantage: New York

The Coaches:
Richie Williams vs. Brian Bliss. ABMOD has his side believing they can win. Bliss will be trying to ignite a moribund team that has only one win in its last seven games... in the Open Cup vs. the not-so-terrifying Des Moines Menace of the PDL. Advantage: New York

NY is gunning for its first three-game winning streak this season. Will the new optimism around the team translate to fans in the stands? KC should get a boost from its new head coach, but Red Bulls may just be for real. Advantage: New York.

The Prediction: A blissful night in the swamp eludes KC. New York wins 2-1.

Television Man
Here's the best soccah on the tube this weekend (all times et)...

Saturday, July 22
4:00pm: MLS: Colorado-Los Angeles, ESPN2
5:00pm: BRA: Fluminense-Sao Caetano, GOL
7:30pm: MLS: New York-Kansas City, FSNY, HDNet, DK
8:00pm: COL: Independiente Santa Fe-Chico, GOL
8:30pm: MLS: Chicago-DC United, CSN, DK
8:30pm: MLS: Houston-New England, FSH, WLVI, DK
10:00pm: MLS: Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas, FSSW, DK

Sunday, July 23
1:00pm: ECU: Deportivo Quito-LDU, GOL
3:00pm: BRA: Ponte Preta, Sao Paulo, GOL
7:00pm: COL: America-Bucaramanga, GOL

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