Question of the week: Do you start Salou Ibrahim?

Posted on 08 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

(The assumption here is that his name is in fact Salou Ibrahim and not Ibrahim Salou, as previously noted.)

Salou Ibrahim in the Red Bull Arena grand opener ©Scott Marsh/ASN

As you’ve probably heard by now the New York Red Bulls newest acquisition has received his visa and is ready to play for the team in an official match. He previously appeared in the Red Bull Arena grand opening match against Santos and the exhibition against Army (speaking of which, the Cadets are the only team to score against New York since the start of the regular season).

Saturday afternoon’s game at Chivas will be the first time that Salou/Ibrahim, Juan Pablo Angel and Macoumba Kandji are fit and available to start. Which means one is either going to need to start on the bench or play out of position. Kandji has seen spot duty at left midfield but with him seeming to find his comfort zone (not to mention scoring the winning goal) in the Seattle Sounders game, does Hans Backe really want to go there? Angel and Salou will not play anywhere but forward. Moving them would be downright Osorioan and those days are (thankfully) in the past. Speaking of which, don’t expect Backe to go with three strikers either. He’s married to the 4-4-2 for the immediate future.

Anyway, have your say on whether Salou/Ibrahim should start the match by voting in this poll:

[polldaddy poll=3024678]

Other things to look out for:
What’s going on with Carl Robinson? Is he healthy and eligible to play? He didn’t make the trip to Seattle but was also absent from the exhibition match against Rutgers, which implies he is not yet recovered from his knee injury.

Will Hans Backe even be healthy enough to make another cross country trip and coach the team?

If Kandji does start at left midfield, where does that leave Sinisa Ubiparipovic? Would he move into the center midfield spot occupied by Seth Stammler in Seattle?

Who travels with the team this week? Last week’s subs were Andrew Boyens, Austin da Luz, Juan Agudelo and Tony Tchani (and obviously Greg Sutton, the only other goalkeeper in the squad). As great as it is to see da Luz on this list, wouldn’t Carlos Mendes or Luke Sassano be better choices? Both are more versatile and can add late game relief at the defensive positions. Speaking of which…

Will Backe or Richie Williams use all three subs for the first time this season? (I have a full rant on this in the upcoming Seeing Red! episode. Stay tuned for that).

Chivas have not looked good at all in the first two games of the season, losses to the Colorado Rapids and the LA Galaxy in the SuperClasico. Their attacking game in particular is very weak. The new coach, Martin Vasquez, was expecting great things from Sacha Kljestan, who does not appear to have what it takes to lead this team–at least not yet. That may develop over the course of the season. It’s not like Kljestan will be traveling with the national team or anything.

That was harsh. But probably also true at this point.

Bottom line with Chivas: The Goats have their backs to the wall after an 0-2 start. They don’t want to go 0-3, least of all under a new head coach. Expect Vasquez to pull out every motivational tool in his arsenal (and then some) to get the team amped for this game. But ultimately, he just doesn’t have enough firepower in his arsenal. The Red Bulls’ defense has looked vulnerable and we do not expect the clean sheet to last. Neither will the winning streak. But the unbeaten streak will.

ASN prediction: Chivas USA 2, RBNY 2

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Homebrew4U Says:

    I voted no, but I hope we see him start against Dallas unless Kandji is a revelation this week. A week+ away from the team, a trans-Atlantic flight yesterday, training today, a cross-country flight this afternoon… I expect (hope) to see 25 good minutes from him Saturday, but not a start.

  2. ASN Editorial Says:

    That's a good point. I forgot all about the travel Salou/Ibrahim underwent to procure this visa. Have to agree then. I wouldn't expect him to start either.

  3. Homebrew4U Says:

    I voted no, but I hope we see him start against Dallas unless Kandji is a revelation this week. A week+ away from the team, a trans-Atlantic flight yesterday, training today, a cross-country flight this afternoon… I expect (hope) to see 25 good minutes from him Saturday, but not a start.

  4. ASN Editorial Says:

    That's a good point. I forgot all about the travel Salou/Ibrahim underwent to procure this visa. Have to agree then. I wouldn't expect him to start either.

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