We get to do these again! That means the season is about to start! We're only a day away from Colorado's first game of the season, with the Red Bulls hosting the Burgundy Boys as they try to shake off a 4-1 smashing from Vancouver last weekend. I exchanged a few questions with Matt Coyne of Once A Metro o we can catch up on our opponents for tomorrow.
BW: So, what exactly happened against Vancouver in Week 1? We know that NYRB were missing arguably their two best players, but do you think that game was simply a fluke or a sign of some potential deficiencies on the Red Bulls that other teams might be able to key into this season?
OaM: In addition to missing their two best players, there were some line-up issues,. Mike Petke played Tim Cahill and Peguy Luyindula up front. Both players seemed to spend the majority of the game in midfield, despite the Red Bulls seeing the majority of the ball. That's probably because the natural position for both players is in the hole behind the striker. That frees Cahill or Luyindula to drop back into a more natural position, where they can contribute both offensively and defensively. Bradley Wright-Phillips, who probably should've been starting, came on in the 73rd minute, it was too late for him to make a difference.
There's no guarantee that a different line-up would've changed the result, since Jamison Olave makes the whole back line work, but with a different line-up and tactics, I don't think the game ends 4-1.
BW: We haven't heard much from former Rapids fan favorite Kosuke Kimura lately, how's he done with NYRB since finding his way there from Portland?
OaM: Kimura's tenure with the Red Bulls has been a perpetual battle for the right back position. First it was with fan favorite Brandon Barklage. Since Barklage has been jettisoned, he's now fighting it out with former Toronto FC player Richard Eckersley.
That said, Kimura is really no better or worse than Barklage or Eckersley. Whether he's playing seems to come down to his performances in practice.
BW: All of us know the marquee names on the Red Bulls. Who's a lesser known guy we should be watching out for on Saturday?
OaM: Does Dax McCarty count? I'm sure plenty of people know his name, but when he's at his best, he can contribute both defensively (obviously) and offensively.
If not, Armando is going to be an important player. Despite giving up four goals against Vancouver, he didn't have a bad game, as a good bit of the blame for the goals falls on the shoulders of the midfield. He's got the potential to make us forget about Markus Holgersson, who worked his way into our hearts in his two years with the team.
Line-ups: Robles; Miller, Armando, Olave, Eckersley; Steele, McCarty, Cahill, Sam; Henry, Luyindula
Prediction: 2-1 Red Bulls
Thanks again to Matt, go head over to Once A Metro for everything you'll ever need related to the Red Bulls.