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Off-field spats highlight MLS meeting of East and West
by Ridge Mahoney, July 26th, 2007 7AM

MOST READ


RED BULL NEW YORK (8-6-3) vs. CHIVAS USA (7-5-3)
Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

David Beckham has made his debut and the SuperLiga has kicked off amid spectacle and controversy, yet MLS league play rolls right along sparking off its own fireworks.

Houston and New England shared six goals and Kansas City split four goals with Colorado Sunday in high-scoring ties, and the return of Thursday night league action finds a team that can't lose at home visiting the team whose search for a new home has been roiled with problems for most of this decade.

NYRB climbed into a first-place tie with New England by beating D.C, 1-0, Sunday despite being outshot at home, 14-8, by a United team missing Jaime Moreno, Ben Olsen and Bryan Namoff.

John Wolyniec netted his third goal of the season and keeper Jon Conway recorded four saves. Dema Kovalenko returned to action as a sub in the 73rd minute. He'd missed five games with a right groin strain. Also back to face Chivas USA is Juan Pablo Angel, who sat out the D.C. game with a red-card suspension.

Chivas USA ran its home mark to 6-0-1 by beating Columbus, 2-1, on July 14. Francisco Mendoza "scored" the winner, though the shot deflected off Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven on its way into the net and was recorded as an own goal. Ante Razov tapped in a pass from Maykel Galindo for his fifth goal of the season.

Chivas USA is solidly entrenched in the playoff eight, but is six points behind second-place FC Dallas in the Western Conference and its 1-5-2 record away from home ranks 11th among the 13 league teams. It plays at Kansas City Sunday and then has a three-week break from league play before heading to Toronto and facing Los Angeles as the "road" team.

In their last meeting at the Meadowlands, NYRB and Chivas USA combined for nine goals, five of which were scored by players --  Jean Phillipe Peguero (3) and Francisco Palencia (2) -- no longer in MLS.

Midfielder Seth Stammler, who scored the other two goals for RBNY in that match, could be moved to the back line with Kovalenko available and defender Jeff Parke out with a torn hamstring.

RED BULL PARK DELAYS

The Red Bull Park project has been delayed, again, amid reports that Red Bull is trying to buy out AEG's interest. The two sides have been squabbling about designs since the Austrian drink company purchased the MetroStars from AEG in early 2006, paying $30 million for the team, an additional $20 million for naming rights, and earmarking $50 million for its share of building the facility.

At the time of the purchase, a source confirmed Red Bull wasn't crazy about the project at all and greatly preferred to find a site in New York City. Construction began in November; Red Bull has announced that toxic-cleanup delays probably will push back opening of the stadium to 2009 rather than midseason 2008, as had been projected.


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