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?

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