July 1, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
11 observations from the Red Bulls' Victory over the Dynamo
Will Smith is a long-time Red Bulls fan who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Will Smith
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
I was at the Red Bulls 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo this past Sunday. Here are my “starting 11” observations from the match:
1. It doesn’t matter how much his teammates or coaches stick up for him; the Red Bulls are a much better team, offensively and defensively, when Juninho is not on the field. It’s sad to say because he’s had a great career, but it’s true.
2. Conversely, the Red Bulls are always a better team when Tim Cahill is on the field regardless of where he plays on the field.
3. There is no better name in all of professional sports than “Jonny Steele.“ It’s like a super-hero…or an adult film star ... or Johnny Bravo .. or a 50’s rockabilly guitarist ... or ALL those things. Awesome, just awesome.
4. A lot of people thought the Red Bulls got fleeced two years ago when they traded Dwayne DeRosario to DC for Dax McCarty? Two years later, DeRo is a broken down shell of his former self and Dax has been the Red Bulls' most consistent, most high energy midfielder since his arrival. It looks like former general manager Erik Soler got that one right.
5. It was great to see a completely full stadium. The atmosphere was phenomenal. I’ve always felt that the best crowds are the ones that mix hard core supporters with families and casual fans. Having endured atmosphere-free Giants stadium since 1996, crowds like this are a joy to be a part of.
6. Will the Harrison police department ever learn to manage traffic flow? It took me nearly 40 minutes to get from the parking lot to the turnpike. This is the team’s fourth season in the stadium. I’m guessing that this is not a priority for the Harrison police.
7. How much business do you think the Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to the turnpike does on game days vs. non-game days?
8. I had actually forgotten that Ruben Bover was on the team prior to his second-half appearance. He hasn’t played in ages. He looked good in a limited role.
9. Connor Lade played a very nice game against a Houston team that resembled Jimmy Breslin’s “Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” but I wonder how he will fare against a more mobile, accurate or physically aggressive team.
10. Peguy Luyindula is wonderful at passing the ball, but woeful at poaching goals. Fabian Espindola’s lovely goal aside, the Red Bulls cannot count on an aging Henry alone to take them deep into the playoffs. If they are serious about winning the cup, they need to sign another forward.
11. Unless he’s a complete disaster as a trialist, the Red Bulls should sign Bradley Wright-Phillips. While I like Eric Alexander, he lacks the speed to play out wide. That said, I wonder if Ian Wright’s son will show any of Alexander’s defensive propensities.
Oh, and a 12th observation. Why would anyone ever endure the astonishingly slow concession lines at Red Bull Arena? Just eat something on the way to or heading home from the game, unless, of course, you are getting the bratwurst which is, admittedly, excellent at the stadium.
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