Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Bulls hope to clinch playoff spot in Toronto
by Ridge Mahoney, October 4th, 2007 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[TV PREVIEW] As they survey BMO Field and see the crowd and hear its passion, the players, coaches and officials of Red Bull New York must wonder if it will ever come to pass for them, this seemingly ideal melding of location, facility, and fandom. Red Bull Park is still years away. League games in the Meadowlands are ridiculously expensive and drained of atmosphere, except for the nine-goal appearance of David Beckham in early August.

TORONTO FC vs. RED BULL NEW YORK
Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2


Yet what Toronto (5-15-6) hasn't been able to do in its expansion season is form a team that can compete. Coach Mo Johnston, despite using three dozen players, is already building for next year. It has scored goals in its last two games (both losses) after struggling through a league-record 824-minute scoreless streak, but is still winless in the last 12 games.

How successful Bruce Arena has been in lifting the league's New York franchise out of the doldrums is yet to be fully tested. The Red Bulls (11-10-6) have been on the verge of clinching a playoff spot for the past few weeks and have tied, 2-2, each time. The league's worst team might seem an ideal opponent to break that streak, yet only by the guile of Juan Pablo Angel did the Red Bulls beat Toronto, 2-1, when the teams met at BMO Field in early June.

Jeff Cunningham scored midway through the first half for a 1-0 lead, but Angel struck twice in two minutes. He drilled home a free kick and then touched in a deflected cross, whereupon TFC fans showered him and his teammates with beer and objects as they celebrated near the corner flag.

Angel scored again and Jozy Altidore netted twice as the Red Bulls romped over TFC, 3-0, at the Meadowlands Aug. 12. Angel has scored a club-record 17 goals this season, Dave van den Bergh (six assists) has sparked the attack in the past month, and Altidore (eight goals) is getting better every week, whether he knows it or not.

To speed up his rebuilding, Johnston will send out 18-year-old defender Gabe Gala to make his first MLS start in place of the suspended Tyrone Marshall, and is expected to give midfielder Joey Melo, also 18, some playing time as well.

For the Red Bulls, listed as doubtful are Claudio Reyna (sprained toe) and Mike Magee (knee injury). Aside from a result to confirm its postseason slot, New York needs to address leaky defensive glitches that have sporadically marred the season.

Seldom in the past month has the back line, where Arena has been shuttling personnel in search of stability, looked secure, and a boisterous madhouse isn't the ideal time and place to experiment.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
A dream come true    
Taylor Leach, a two-time first-team All-SEC defender at the University of South Carolina, will continue her ...
Klinsmann trims U.S. squad, adds Yedlin for Chile trip    
U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 23-player roster for the friendlies against Chile ...
What They're Saying: Tally Hall    
"The league is looking to invest in itself. That's why the DPs are coming in, and ...
MLS Trade Central: RSL lands Jamaican Phillips    
Real Salt Lake signed Jamaican defender Demar Phillips, who will be in line to take over ...
2015 MLS Preseason Schedule    
MLS clubs opened camp on Friday. Most of the week will be spent working in-house and ...
Herzog takes reins of U.S. U-23s     
Austrian Andreas Herzog, who has been Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant for the last three years, has been ...
Video Pick: Red Bull Cahill hits golazo in Asian Cup     
Tim Cahill may be coming off a frustrating season with the New York Red Bulls, but ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Oh, definitely. We can have that anytime. No problem at all. He [sent] me a note, ...
Columbus Crew signs Argentine vet Grana     
The Columbus Crew has bolstered its backline by signing 29-year-old Argentine Hernan Grana, whose seven-club career ...
Omar Gonzalez isn't worried about U.S. pecking order    
Normally, Omar Gonzalez would have been up the road at the national team training camp in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives