Friday, October 19, 2007

Finishing Smartly & Questioning the Iceman

Congrats to the Red Bulls for finishing up the regular season last night by taking a point on the road in a 1-1 draw at the HDC vs. the Gals. Jozy Altidore hit his ninth goal of the season with a snap header a minute after LA's Troy Roberts put the Galaxy in front with a header of his own.

For my money, the best part about last night's match was that the squad escaped injury, while holding MLS' hottest side from winning their sixth match in a row. New York finishes the season at 12-11-7, good enough for sixth place among MLS' 13 teams. The 43 points did mark New York's third-best finish in twelve MLS seasons, behind the Eastern Conference champion season of 2000 (54 pts.) and 2005's 47-point campaign.

Will NY's mini-spurt of decent play (1-0-1) generate any momentum into the playoff opener vs. New England next Saturday in the swamp? We'll see.

Ice Ice, Baby?
Scaryice, of Climbing the Ladder fame, is a one-man MLS content machine. His blog is full of amazing and insightful analysis of MLS stats. He creates weekly highlight videos of every goal scored in the league each week, and for the second straight season, he's created a "Top 10 Goals" for each team. Here's his 2007 Red Bulls collection:

Love the work, but not all of the choices. For my money, two terrific and meaningful goals were omitted, and both were scored in the epic 5-4 win over LA on August 18th at the Swamp.

First, is Juan Pablo Angel's pin-point free kick to open the scoring... and second is Clint Mathis' laser volley in first-half injury time (Find video of both here under 8/18). Not only did Mathis' strike knot the score at two, but the goal put Cleetus at the top of the all-time NY scoring list. C'mon Ice!

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