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Kovalenko the Key to Bulls' Success

If recent form is anything to go by, you could be forgiven for not liking the New York Red Bulls' postseason chances. Indeed, the fourth-place Bulls have played poorly now for quite a while it seems, and yet somehow, thanks to a strong start to the 2007 season, Bruce Arena's men are just six points behind Eastern Conference leader New England.

One reason for the team's inconsistency has been the long-term injury sustained by midfield terrier Dema Kovalenko, says Ives Galarcep of the North Jersey Herald. "It shouldn't really come as a surprise then that the Red Bulls have struggled mightily since he's been sidelined with a groin injury," Galarcep says. Unfortunately, Kovalenko's chances of returning to the starting lineup on Sunday were dealt a further blow after he was involved in a car accident last weekend.

"The Red Bulls needed this news like David Beckham needs more hype," Galarcep says jokingly. Indeed, injuries have hampered the club all season long, and now, coming of a much-needed 16-day layoff, the Bulls should have been able to recover. Once they do, Galarcep says Arena should be able to draw together "a lineup that more closely resembled the one that dominated MLS the first two months." Kovalenko, he says, is the key, along with a consistent 4-3-3 formation and yet another second coming from Clint Mathis, who's been "invisible" all summer long.

Read the whole story at North Jersey Herald »

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