Saturday, July 17, 2010
New York Redbulls @ Columbus Crew 7:30 PM ET (MSG): The Battle for First
TH14 is here and a member of the New York Redbulls. You got it.... good! Now it's time to shift your attention to more important matters. The Bulls desperately need 3 points on the board today to place them at 29 points and clinch the #1 Eastern Conference spot. A tie or loss simply isn't an option. Let's all hope that our boys realize that they made it to #2 without TH14 and capitalize on the excitement of his arrival.
Last weeks match against DC United left a sour taste. There were a handful of opportunities but no follow through in the end. Bouna Coundoul caught a nasty shot to the ribs. Hopefully he is feeling fit and ready for battle. While the Crew may be down at the moment, coming off 2 games without a win, it would be foolish to count them as out. Watching highlights of the Crew's last 2 matches, it would appear that the Columbus Crew defense has been struggling with well placed through passes. The Bulls will need to keep the ball well under control and take advantage.
I believe the key to this game will be a strong defensive effort and a patient and persistent offense. I am personally a fan of Seth Stammler. Some NYRB fans find his long distance antics frustrating. I understand their frustration; however, I see tiny bits of improvement each game. His crossbar grazing rocket last week against D.C. United is a great example. That being said, I think Tony Tchani is the right man for the job today. Stammler plays with a lot of heart and fights for the ball tooth and nail. However, I think Tchani will be able to provide the control we need to get the job done. A controlled midfield will be able to find Juan Pablo Angel in the box and allow the master to work his magic.
I am predicting a Redbulls 2 - Crew 1 final score. What are your thoughts on today's game?