New York Red Bulls
I’m changing Twitter handles. @OffsideNYRB is now @EricRBNY. I’m making my Empire of Soccer debut today, where I’ll be giving my take on all things RBNY in a once-a-week opinion section. Go check out my first post!
Crisis? What crisis? The Red Bulls are world-beaters. We’re gonna win MLS Cup! No one can stop us! …At least that’s what the highly emotional RBNY fan base seems to be telling me. After an 0-2 start, we needed to blow the team up and fire Backe, now it seems all is well in the land of the energy drink. I believe there’s an old adage that goes a little something to the tune of You’re never as bad as you think when you’re losing, and you’re never as good as you think when you’re winning. Maybe, but it’s hard not to get swept up in a feel-good thrashing of the cRapids in NY’s home opener. There were lots of factors pointing in the Red Bulls’ favor, but atop that list stands the one and only: Rafa Marquez.
Ah, the smell of a new MLS season. A year to forget about past disappointments; a time when hope springs eternal. Unfortunately for our beloved boys in white (and sometimes blue), it was much of the same. Poor set piece defense, possession not yielding W’s, lack of attacking spark, blah blah blah. You’ve heard it all last year. And although there are some fresh faces peppered throughout this year’s RBNY squad, it looks like they’re the same old metro.
Looks like Mr. Backe has some decisions to make come opening day in Dallas. With a surplus of forwards and central midfielders, it’ll be interesting to see what formation and personnel makeup the starting XI. With so many options and possible configurations at his disposal, how will Backe manage his depth?
After what can only be described as a highly disappointing season in 2011, the Red Bulls, and more importantly their front office, certainly had their work cut out for them. A roster filled with so much talent but woefully underachieved had to be revamped somehow. And it was Erik Soler’s job to fit together the right pieces to assert New York as a top team once again. So obviously selling Tim Ream was the logical next step… Wait, what?
Man, where do I even start? First, let me apologize for such a long hiatus. These past few months have been pretty crazy for me for a number of reasons, but I’m back now. If there’s anyone out there that actually still reads this blog, thank you for your patience. This hasn’t been a fun time for me, but things are starting to look up. Please try to spread the word if you’ve enjoyed my work in the past. I’ll be updating the blog on a MUCH more consistent basis. There’s been way too much news in the world of RBNY not to. So again, my apologies for the lack of content. I’ll continue to update my Twitter account as I have been all along, so follow me there for all the latest on when I post here as well as updates on all things RBNY. I’ve got my work cut out for me these next few weeks, so stay tuned.
I have to admit; I’ve pronounced the season to be dead more than once before. But you gotta cut me some slack, I wasn’t counting on the absolute ineptitude of the rest of the Eastern Conference. Thanks to their shortcomings, the Red Bulls found themselves clinging to the tenth and final playoff spot after a draw away to Toronto. That being said, New York needed all three points on Tuesday to have some sense of security in the playoff picture. And thanks to our good friend Irene, the Bulls got just what they wanted.
Well, here I am, once again reeling from another disappointment, trying to figure out just how to sum up yet the latest uninspired performance by New York. I swear, with all the talk of how great this team is better on paper, I propose we so all go out and cover RBA in 8 ½ x 11’s on Saturday… but I digress.
Just when you thought all hope was lost, New York goes out and does this. A win, honest to God, a win. For the first time since the July 6th drubbing of TFC, the Red Bulls claimed all three points and boy did it feel good. Granted, it got a bit nervy there and it wasn’t the pretty display by any stretch of the imagination, but isn’t that what it’s all about? A gutsy road win, the team’s first since winning at RFK in April, might be just what this team needs to get back on track. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s remember the long road New York still has to travel.
Man, the past week or so has been quite kind to the Red Bulls. After Irene washed away any hopes of the Galaxy match being played, New York saw their playoff position actually improve despite not playing a single match since August 20th. As of now, New York owns the 10th and final playoff spot, sitting behind Columbus, SKC, Houston, and Philly in the East. Vancouver rolls into town this Saturday, and the Red Bulls absolutely need three points against the lowly Whitecaps.