The Yankees are in flux! It’s the best way to describe a team that has seen so much disaster in one season yet has somehow managed to stay afloat in a tremendously tough division. This past weekend saw a very important series against the Boston Red Sox go against the boys in pinstripes but there were still a lot of positives to be seen. For one, Brett Gardner is easily becoming one of the toughest outs in baseball. He has fouled off more 2-strike pitches than anyone else in the league, is second on the team with 16 walks and first in stolen bases. He lacks the explosiveness or flash of a Jose Reyes but easily contributes more to a lineup that has looked downright anemic all season long. Read the rest of this entry »
Twenty games into the 2013 MLS Season and the one thing we can understand about the New York Red Bulls is that they are consistently inconsistent. Last week the team put together one of their most impressive performances by dismantling a Montreal side that sat atop the Eastern Conference for most of the first half of the season. Whether or not the Impact were a bit overrated had nothing to do with how solid of a performance New York displayed. They had possession of the ball, passed to perfection and took advantage of key opportunities to score early goals. Read the rest of this entry »
Red Bull New York: 0
DC United: 0
The weather mirrored the emotions that filled every fan who entered Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon. There was a sense of snowy gloom as New York had only grabbed one point out of their first two games. Of course, things were worse one year prior as they lost both games on the road but they didn’t have to face hated rivals DC United in their first home game. In no way did Red Bull fans want to hear about the terrible way the 2012 season ended. This was a chance to erase all of that and get things back on track. Fortunately, there was a lot of good to come out of this game. Unfortunately, the win that would have made everyone feel more at ease didn’t come. Read the rest of this entry »
Fans of Pro Wrestling NOAH have had to endure one of the most painful descents in pro wrestling history. From the heights of 2005’s Tokyo Dome sell out to the lows of an exaggerated 3,500 fans at today’s show, it is obvious that NOAH is slowly dying. Even still, there is some light for fans that have stuck with it and endured the painful loss of Go Shiozaki and Jun Akiyama. KENTA, the man who pioneered much of CM Punk’s current offense, has finally won the BIG ONE! In a 21 minute battle with current champion Takashi Morishima, KENTA was able to make the giant Japanese champion tap to his finisher GAME OVER (a modified Crippler Crossface). Read the rest of this entry »
After rumors of a possible transfer to Leon, New York Red Bull has announced that they’ve come to an agreement with Rafa Marquez on terms for his immediate release. The decision is mutual and we won’t know what the conditions terms are as clubs are not forced to disclose that information. When asked, Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh only said, “This decision has been made in the best interest of both parties concerned.” While it isn’t much to go on, there is no denying that New York will be happy to see the controversial defender leave the organization.
Rafa came to New York in 2010 as an addition to New York’s much talked about acquisition of Thierry Henry. The thought was that the Red Bulls would be reuniting the key elements that helped Barcelona become wildly successful years earlier. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. Marquez was critical of teammates while missing a large chunk of each season he played. When he was on the field, controversy followed. During the 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-Final, Marquez received a red card post-game for throwing the game ball at Landon Donovan. Subsequently, he missed the first two games of the 2012 season and then more due to reoccurring injury. Read the rest of this entry »
Still no word on a manager but New York did acquire a few pieces to add some excitement to the 2013 season. Real Salt Lake, now interested in blowing up their team and starting from scratch, gave away two big pieces for allocation money to New York. Fabian Espindola who had 9 goals and 7 assists in 30 games this season, will be joined by Jamison Olave, 2010 Defender of the year. While both men aren’t exactly spring chickens, they’re still producing at a high level in MLS.
Espindola’s inclusion raises questions as to Kenny Cooper’s future with the team. It was obvious that playing alongside Thierry Henry helped raise Cooper to a new level. However, the Red Bulls may feel like they’ve seen the US International’s peak. If so, Espindola holds the key to an even more successful combination with the French superstar, Henry. Cooper will also bring a high price on the market. He was second in scoring last season and could fetch some great prospects from teams looking to win now. Don’t be surprised if the LA Galaxy are interested, especially considering the potential loss of Landon Donovan. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the world’s most famous athletes will potentially play his last game on Saturday during the 2012 MLS Cup. David Beckham has had an amazing journey through the most famous football teams in the world and has become a superstar of mammoth proportions along the way. Here is a list of his top 5 moments on the pitch: Read the rest of this entry »
Premier League games on Wednesday can mean only one thing: IT’S CHRISTMAS SEASON! Normally with Champions League fixtures, Europa League fixtures and International Friendlies the schedule becomes quite hectic in the month of November and December. Here are some highlights from a very busy Wednesday in the BPL:
Rafael Benitez is not winning over the hearts of Chelsea fans who are still furious over the firing of Roberto Di Matteo. For the second straight game Chelsea has failed to score a goal. Fortunately they also haven’t allowed a goal. The question on everyone’s mind is how long will Roman Abramovich give Benitez to fix what is broken. The angry Russian has fired managers for less than what Benitez has already failed to accomplish. So far the Spanish manager is the third man to attempt to solve the Rubix Cube that is Fernando Torres. Benitez was the last man to manage Torres to a successful goal scoring season at Liverpool. So far not only is Torres a non-factor, the rest of the team is as well. Their next fixture at West Ham will have the new Blue manager under extreme pressure. Sad to say for a guy who has only managed the team for 180 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
The end of Hans Backe’s reign in New York is not the only change that was expected from the Red Bulls. With the hiring of new Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh, the team will be taking a different direction. The former Scotland International manager was very focused when he spoke to MLSSoccer.com writer Franco Panizo. A move away from international stars and a progression toward homegrown talent is to be expected. To prove that Roxburgh’s interview was more than just fluff, we’ve already seen two international players leave the club. Jan Gunnar Solli and Teemu Tainio are gone along with many others.
Fans were definitely surprised to see that Stephen Keel and Corey Hertzog would also not be returning to the squad. While it may be tough to swallow, especially considering how these guys had carved out a fan base here in New York, it wasn’t at all surprising. Stephen Keel was a glorified bench warmer all season long. Corey Hertzog spent most of his time on loan and with the abundance of strikers already in the New York lineup it made sense for him to move on.
24 hours after one of the most emotional losses in New York Red Bulls history, the organization has parted ways with head coach Hans Backe and assistant coach Jan Halvor Halvorsen. After bringing New York from worst to first in his first season with the team, Backe found it increasingly difficult to lead the star-filled team past the Eastern Conference semi-finals. With the dismissal of General Manager Eric Soler late in the summer and the hiring of Gerard Houllier, many close to the team believed that Backe’s days were numbered. They were right.
To his credit, Hans Backe was not actually fired. His three year contract came to an end with the team choosing simply not to renew for additional years. For most coaches posting a record of 41-31-26 would be considered a success. Especially when you know that before he got there, the team registered on of the worst seasons in team history. However in New York, and most major markets, your success is judged by how many championships you claim. Unfortunately, New York has been a non-factor in the US Open Cup and barely competitive for the MLS Cup.