Red Bull New York 2007 Review: An Atypically Typical Year

Red Bull New York
Record (W-L-T): 12-11-7; 47 GF, 45 GA
Source Material: Schedule/match reports; roster

All in all, and perhaps a little sadly, this was a pretty typical year for Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York franchise: uneven, unsettled, and, as always, unrewarded.  But a couple oddities put a fresh twist or two on the familiar: a start to the season strong enough to convince a few that the team had rounded a corner; the simple, frankly shocking presence of a reliable scoring tandem; finally, the year of the designated player, the Year of the Bruce and how those factors interacted.  In a sense, then, the narrative for 2007 was all wrong in that it offered Red Bull New York something positively foreign: hope and promise.  That they kept that alive until, arguably, August inches a little bit further from the “typical.”  But Red Bull’s season ended as they always do, which means that even if things didn’t quite go to Hell after August, they got close enough to make legible the famous statement about hope posted on the gate.

Now, where does that leave us?  It was a typical year, but it wasn’t?  Damned unsatisfying, that, but it seems accurate.  For instance, in the typical column you had Clint Mathis back with the team and starring in the early going (not to mention getting sent off twice by early June – neat trick for an offensive player).   In the atypical column, the Red Bull roster featured one of the hottest American prospects in Josmer “Jozy” Altidore and one of the league’s deadliest forwards in Juan Pablo Angel.  Back in the typical column, Bruce Arena played the role of high-profile coach, while, almost tragically, Claudio Reyna played the too-familiar, over-priced under-achiever. Continue reading


EPL Weekend: Tottenham losing? It’s crazier that it’s December already…

Saturday, December 1st, 2007 

Chelsea 1, West Ham 0

Jon Spector played the last 10 minutes, but he came on too late to stop former Hammer Joe Cole from spoiling a decent West Ham performance. Steve Sidwell is starting to get starts for Chelsea – who have now moved past Man City in the standings.

Sunderland 1, Derby 0

New boss doesn’t equal success for Derby. No Feilhaber, no Lewis. Anthony Stokes provided the clincher for the Black Cats.

Blackburn 3, Newcastle 1

It was the David Bentley show – a brace and a nice display of technical prowess is all Blackburn needed to get past a faltering and GASP! underperforming Newcastle squad. Joey Barton started for Newcastle but was probably contemplating which is worse – the Newcastle black-and-white bars that he is playing in now or the bars he could behind in 2 weeks time. Friedel looked good…again.

Wigan 1, Manchester City 1

Elano-less Citeh had trouble with a feisty Wigan side, also boasting a new boss on the sidelines. Geovanni – who filled in for Elano – struck in the first minute only to see Paul Scharner equalize later on in the half. A deadlock ensued with no one particularly causing much trouble.

Everton 0, Portsmouth 0

A draw that pretty much everyone predicted due to Portsmouth’s run of now FOUR goalless home matches. Tim Howard had survive an offensive barrage though, but he showed again why he was one of the top keepers in the EPL.

Reading 1, Middlesbrough 1

Bobby Convey started and played 80 minutes. Dave Kitson struck right after halftime for the Royals, but it was Turkish player Sanli Tuncay who spoiled the party – hitting for an 83rd minute equalizer. Hahnemann looked decent as well, but was frustrated with the goal 7 minutes from time. These draws will come back to bite a minnow like Reading in the ass if they’re not careful.

Arsenal 2, Aston Villa 1

Villa went up 1-0 early on, but before the first half whistle could sound, Arsenal had scored two and looked unbeatable. Aleksandr Hleb and Lassana Diarra controlled the midfield well – looking wise beyond their years – but it was Adebayor who is the equivalent of the EPL’s Joseph Ngwenya (or vice versa). I’m not sure how he keeps scoring, but he does. It was Adebayor’s 36th minute strike that killed the Villans.

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 

Liverpool 4, Bolton 0

Fernando Torres has already warned Liverpool owners that the sacking and/or exit of Rafa Benitez would spark a mass exodus from the squad and – unlike a Milan Baros or Fernando Morientes of years past – he’s actually providing results to back up his threats.

Birmingham 3, Tottenham 2

Gaffer McLeish couldn’t have asked for a better result his first match day on the job. Sebastian Larsson’s stunner destroyed Tottenham and probably ensured the Spurs another 10 games of bad luck, bad form, and distastrous morale levels. The Spurs had the edge offensively but defensive hiccups killed their chances as Birmingham kept equalizing.

Monday’s Match-up!

Fulham vs. Manchester United

Can Dempsey spoil Manchester United’s home form? Fulham often plays well against the Big Four, but only if that Big Four squad is named Arsenal. The Cottagers have been squeezing out points and I’m sure a draw is all that Lawrie Sanchez will ask for today.