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RBNY go Mile High For Fourth of July

Posted on 03 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls and first year head coach Hans Backe take their first trip of the season up to the Mile High City, to take on the Colorado Rapids at Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

The Red Bulls have an overall record of 13-15-3 (Wins, losses, ties) against the Colorado Rapids in MLS play, with four losses in a row and five losses out of their last six games played.

Last season, the Rapids beat the Red Bulls both times they met; in Giants Stadium 3-2 (COL: Casey(25,48) Ballouchy (60);NY: Angel (45) Borman), and in Dicks Sporting Good’s Park 4-0 (COL: Peterson (5) Noonan (47) LaBrocca (61) Ballouchy(67)).

The Red Bulls earlier this season hosted the Rapids at the brand new Red Bull Arena for a U.S. Open Cup qualifying match, where a reserve laden Red Bull squad beat the Rapids 3-0, with two first-half goals from John Wolyniec and a goal from rookie Conor Chinn.

So far head coach Gary Smith has the Rapids in third place in the Western Conference, and fifth place in the overall MLS table with 21 points. U.S. National Team member Conor Casey leads the team with six goals and two assists in 12 games this season. Mehdi Ballouchy is second on the team with two goals and three assists in 11 games played. When those two players are on their game, they are the two of the best in MLS, but knowing when they will play well has been a mystery to the staff and fans.

In their last game, on June 26, Colorado visited the Houston Dynamo and played to a 2-2 draw. Colorado scored through Conor Casey in the 45th minute, and an own goal in the 71st minute off of Dynamo defender Lovel Palmer.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls came off their World Cup break with a very solid 3-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards, with man of the match Juan Pablo Angel scoring two goals late in the match to give New York their eighth win of the season.

Though the Red Bulls lost on Tuesday 1-0 in extra-time in U.S. Open Cup action against the Harrisburg City Islanders, they were given a boost in that midfielder Brian Nielsen, wing back Roy Miller, and midfielder Austin Da Luz all returned to the field from injuries.

However New York will still miss the services of midfielder Carl Robinson, forward Mac Kandji, and defender Kevin Goldthwaite. Midfielder Dane Richards was left off the weekly injury list, meaning he should be available to play this weekend, most likely off the bench.

The Rapids have some injury issues as well, with defender Julien Baudet, midfielder Ciaren O’Brien, and forward Ross Schunk all out for the 4th of July matchup. Defender Kosuke Kimura has been listed as probable.

An interesting point to make is that at the U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday, coach Backe decided to make a few lineup changes, playing Jeremy Hall in the center of the midfield (usually he is a wide midfielder), Juan Agudelo on the left side of midfield (usually he is a forward), and towards the end of the match, played Andrew Boyens at center forward (usually he is a central defender).

Backe is not likely to make any changes from the lineup that beat Kansas City last Saturday, unless Dane Richards makes the starting 11, which is doubtful since he hasn’t played in almost a month. Juan Pablo Angel, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, and Joel Lindpere should be ready to lead the Red Bulls attack this weekend in the thin air in Colorado.

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