Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench
Wednesday, July 5th: 3-2 Win
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I wouldn’t be the reporter I am without my social media presence. Still being relatively new to soccer, I get a lot of context about MLS from the rumblings on Twitter. For example, I learned that the New York Red Bulls (8-8-2, 26 points) don’t usually win on the 4th of July. And that RBNY hasn’t won at Gillette Stadium since 2014. So there was some trepidation on my part going into the game against the New England Revolution (5-9-5, 20 points).
GET WELL SOON: It feels as if the team just got back defender Aurelien Collin and midfielder Mike Grella from injury, and now both are out with injury, with Grella out for the season.
Other than this dry turkey sandwich I’m good! Thanks to God. Good luck to the boys tonight 🔴⚪️.… https://t.co/xiXBYoH1cj
— Mike Grella (@MikeGrella10) July 5, 2017
PLAY YOUR KIDS: With Grella and Collin out, and defenders Kemar Lawrence and Michael Amir Murillo away on National Team duty (Jamaica and Panama, respectively), RBNY looked to their USL squad to fill out their roster. This resulted in 7 homegrown players available for New York (4 in the starting lineup: Sean Davis, Connor Lade, Aaron Long, and Alex Muyl). RBNY has a solid developmental academy, and the proof is in the lineup. Congratulations to Dan Metzger on his MLS debut.
STAY THE COURSE: What does it benefit RBNY to play against their system just because they’re on the road? The Red Bulls have lacked consistency so far this season, so if that means the team commits to the high press on the road, then that’s how it goes.
BOY THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY: There were three goals in the span of 8 minutes (Teal Bunbury 21′, Bradley Wright-Phillips 23′, Lee Nguyen 27′). Up until the scoring began, the play was so choppy that it was a wonder the ball got anywhere near the net! Going into halftime, the play from the Red Bulls was rooted more in frustration than strategy.
The team ended with 23 fouls and a surprising 4 yellow cards. I have said in the past that if RBNY wants to pull a little of that “Bad News Bears” attitude, I really don’t mind. I’ve met enough of the players to know they’re plenty nice and can go ahead and be a little naughty on the field. The Revolution went hard as well, with 20 fouls of their own, including a foul in the box on Davis that took Daniel Royer to the spot to level the score in the 55th minute.
BIEN TRABAJO: For someone who is 100% Hispanic, my Spanish is not great. But forward Gonzalo Veron is Argentinian, and I’d like to make an effort for him. Veron came onto the field in the 83rd minute to replace BWP and got straight to work. He was everywhere: defense, offense, up and down the field. And then the gorgeous finish on a pass from Felipe in the 90th minute completed the turnaround started by Royer’s converted penalty kick.
Oye, Gonzalo: Me gusto verte trabajar.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 6, 2017
WHAT’S NEXT?: The transfer window is about to open, and coach Jesse Marsch has already hinted at some changes coming down the pike. I don’t really get excited about this aspect of soccer, because it’s business. I’ve already seen some players come and go, and have to admit that the occasional mercenary can be just as useful as a stalwart mainstay. I’ll take the changes as they come.
The Gold Cup begins Friday, and I’m looking forward to some solid CONCACAF competition. Best of luck to the USMNT and all the MLS players who received call-ups.
Featured image courtesy: @NewYorkRedBulls
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