If the Red Bulls were up against Houston, or Chivas USA, or Columbus, they could cheerfully count on the three points necessary to make the playoffs. Because in the past offseason, the Red Bulls didn't do much of anything to make Houston, or Chivas USA, or Columbus swear vengeance on the Red Bulls and all they stood for.
So it is tonight, then, that the Juan Carlos Osorio hire well and truly backfires on New York. Last week, the Red Bulls got fat on the Crew reserves and an all-time comedy goal. That certainly took the sting out of Parke and Conway being poisoned by perfectly innocent over-the-counter supplements and unjustly suspended. (Sometimes, I just type things to see if I get struck by lightning for it. So far, so good.) And, given a kindlier schedule-maker, it could have been a road trip to Los Angeles, and the chance to stick it to Bruce Arena.
Instead, they visit the one team that is very, very motivated to screw over JCO. Oh, by the way, no one on the roster has scored against the Fire this year. Either Cepero continues his scoring streak, or we have another ugly blowout to shut down Giants Stadium...at least, as far as soccer fans are concerned. Fire, 4-0.
IN OTHER NEWS: Despite EVERYONE jumping all over the Rackham to Inter Milan story, I'm going to wait until it's all officially official before giving my negligible and meaningless opinion. Besides, if the Dodgers had made it to the World Series, the Times wouldn't have put a Grahame Jones "Screw Beckham and the horse he rode in on" article on page one of the sports section today. As with all things Becky, we are overreacting.
Don't get me wrong - this is almost certainly going to blow up absolutely magnificently. The cast of characters, off the top of my head, include Anschutz, Leiweke, Arena, Bex, Posh, Tom Cruise, Berlusconi, and the Football Association. And, if AC and MLS are very clever about trying to tinker with FIFA loan rules, Sepp Himself. But I don't want to get my hopes up.