All posts by litsrb

After 2 college degrees and 20 years teaching experience, I'm elbowing my way back into the profession I just remembered I love. All the while, I'm still chasing 3 young men and a little lady as a mom. My house is cozy, my family is expansive, my dreams are even bigger.

Rivalry Week: Red Bulls Hit With Their Best Shot

MLSFemale Social Media Manager
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, August 21: 1-2 Win

Ah. Rivalry Week. We meet again.

With a Long History

For those of you playing at home, you are probably aware that I am relatively new to RBNY (and MLS) fandom. But one of the first things I learned was that when Red Bull fans hear ‘rival,’ they think of D.C. United… the Pigeons are an afterthought. So even though this was the second match of the night, the Red Bulls at Audi Field was the first real rivalry match of the special presentation.

You’re a Real Tough Cookie

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that this was going to be chippy. And that doesn’t even factor in Felipe Martins’ return to the East coast. But both teams had to deal with ejections before halftime! Wayne Rooney gave Cristian Casseres, Jr. an elbow to the face, and didn’t even look like he noticed doing it.  Then Amro Tarek took down Paul Arriola and got himself a second yellow card.

Did I see the first yellow card? No. It was a blur. But am I okay with the ejection? Also no.

Let’s Get Down To It

The goal that almost wasn’t. Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra caught onto a ball that Marc Rzatkowski crossed towards Daniel Royer. I know that because when Royer didn’t get the ball, he did his signature ‘facepalm’ thing. But Kaku never gives up– Kaku finds a way!

Sorry… that was too easy.

Fire Away

It wasn’t smooth sailing for New York in the remainder of the match. There was a lot of pressure and missed opportunities.  Then Ola Kamara, a newcomer to D.C. United, hit a shot that was nothing short of amazing. The curve on that ball’s path defied physics and completely avoided goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Knock me Down

I’m a teensy bit biased. So when the referee called a penalty for RBNY, I was cool with it. But the first time I saw the replay, I was taken aback. Did Murillo get tripped, or did he just trip on himself? Then I saw it again… he was tripped by the D.C. defender. He just got an extra step before he went down. Royer converted the kick from the spot, and the Red Bulls were on top again.

Defender Aaron Long took a couple of hits to the head, and Robles was definitely dealing with an issue with his left foot by the end of the game. There is a really short turnaround before the next game, so that is unsettling.

See If I Care

There were five minutes of stoppage in the first half. There were EIGHT minutes added on to the second half. Injuries and wild shots just added to the clock. But finally the whistle blew, and the Red Bulls could leave Audi Field with all three points, not a moment too soon.

The latest Hudson River Derby awaits RBNY at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC also had a midweek win, so it will be a battle of momentum. Let’s see how you do it.

Featured image:  @BillTNJ

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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New York Red Bulls: Walk Me Home

MLSFemale Social Media Manager
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Sunday, July 21: 0-1 Win

Saturday, July 27th: 2-3 Loss

The great thing about writing articles like this is that I don’t have to be “alone with all that’s on my mind.” While there are a few things to unpack, at least I know that there are some folks out there who want to see what I have to say. Pardon the personal update: I just got back from my family vacation, and am about to embark on a new role with MLSFemale– Social Media Manager. My life is kind of in flux, but apparently that is my comfort zone.

Back to a better time

I didn’t really watch the game against Orlando with a reporter’s eye. Brian White had the lone goal of the game. But I do remember being nervous for much the game. While I’m not entirely down with all the lingo that pertains to soccer, I do know what it means to ‘park the bus.’ That’s what I saw in the second half of the game. I can’t really blame the Red Bulls– they were up by a goal, it was hot and humid, and the attack wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Get the three points and return to Harrison.

So what do you say we leave this place?

Easier said that done, apparently. It took the team an entire day to get home. The thunderstorms here in Jersey were messing with flights. Takeoff was delayed multiple times, and food vouchers were provided as a consolation. I know all this because RBNY defender Tim Parker documented the team’s travel issues in a series of tweets that are nothing short of Homerian.

Followers of international soccer know that some of the biggest clubs have a team plane the way a band has a bus or RV. But Major League Soccer insists teams travel commercial, and indeed only allow a certain number of chartered private flights per team per year.

This rule prevents some teams from spending way more money on travel than another. I get that. And since the team didn’t have a game for nearly a whole week, it wasn’t too bad. But speaking as someone who was away from home for two weeks, I absolutely understand the desire to be home.

There’s something in the way I wanna cry

I’ve said it before: the “Defend Our Fortress” thing doesn’t do it for me. Sure, Brian White struck first, and it was lovely. But before the South Ward could get out their first “WOO!” to celebrate, Luis Argudo netted a goal for Columbus.

The remainder of the first half was sloppy from RBNY. That’s not usually a concern; I could use a dollar for every time I discussed a “tale of two halves” when talking about the Red Bulls this season. So, they could regroup in the locker room at the half and come out swinging.

So much wrong going on

Midfielder Pedro Santos scored almost immediately at the start of the second half. The sloppiness continued from the Red Bulls. It took VAR for referee Fotis Bazakos to award a penalty to Daniel Royer for getting pulled as he tried to redirect a free kick. Royer tied the game again with his converted penalty kick. Salvaging a point by then seemed to be the best fans could expect.

Pedro Santos had other plans. He settled a ball goalkeeper Luis Robles had punched away and nailed it into the far side of the net in the 84th minute. The team by then was too frustrated and too far stretched to bring anything back. The Red Bulls saw their fourth home loss this season. So much for the fortress.

That makes me think we’ll make it out alive

Despite this ridiculousness, the Red Bulls are still fifth in the Eastern Conference. With the playoff line under the seventh team in each conference, it’s not so dire of straits.

But it doesn’t feel great. Not at the final whistle, or at the press conference, or in the locker room.

Toronto FC travel to Harrison Saturday, August 3rd. The last result between them was also not great, a 3-1 loss for the Red Bulls. Revenge would be ideal. So come on and show me how we’re good.

Featured image:  @BillTNJ

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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The Red Bulls Have Me Going Round and Round

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, July 3rd: 4-0 loss
Sunday, July 7th: 3-3 draw
Sunday, July 13th: 2-1 win

Summertime, and the living is clearly not easy. I’m bogged down with vacation planning, summer reading assignments, extra classes, and upcoming side hustles. And it’s far from smooth sailing for the New York Red Bulls, as well. While getting themselves back to full lineup strength, they have had to deal with midweek games and disciplinary suspensions. In moments, it’s been downright disappointing.

Overall, however, the team is hitting a decent stride. An international roster spot has been opened with Frenchie midfielder Florian Valot getting his green card. The secondary transfer window is now open, and there may be a new signing in their future. (Or not. I’m not in the business of football business.)

You Would End Up Winning

I didn’t like that Michael Amir Murillo was in the starting XI for the midweek clash against the Houston Dynamo. The Panamanian team had just been eliminated from the Gold Cup. He was still in ‘international tournament’ mode. It’s more physical, and the two yellow cards Murillo earned (44′, 83′) proved that. Wasn’t worth it.  Houston midfielder Alberth Elis had his way with RBNY, earning an assist and a pair of goals. I’m not one for superstition, but I understand the Red Bulls generally don’t do well in the match nearest Independence Day.  It was also a cross-conference match, which softens the blow. Besides, there were bigger obstacles ahead.

We’ll Put You On Your Shelf

Weird how rivalries happen. DC United, one of the original MLS teams along with the Metrostars, is also the original RBNY rival. NYCFC, the regional opponent of the Red Bulls, has made for a sort of rivalry… more on them later. But Atlanta United… man. That rivalry is organic. Atlanta hosted RBNY in their first ever MLS match: they lost. They cannot defeat the Red Bulls in the regular season. And they have yet to score a goal at Red Bull Arena. It’s enough to get under the fuzzy skin of the King Peaches. With another physical bout, Atlanta thought they had FINALLY broken their apparent curse the Sunday after Independence Day. Looks like they had forgotten to factor in Bradley Wright-Phillips. His 93rd minute leveler saved a point for the boys in Red to bring back to New York with them. Not a moment too soon.

We’ve Had Enough

Last season, there were four Hudson River Derby days. It was mentally exhausting, and rather pointless. Sure, NYCFC got themselves a W, but that’s not really enough to elevate the rivalry. Besides, some serious fan issues have overshadowed the boys from the Bronx. There are a good number of stories on that, I have no need to address it. My business is only what’s on the field.

Being on vacation at the time, I was actually reluctant to watch the game. Thanks to notifications on my phone, I felt justified when I saw NYC forward Heber struck first.  But ninety-plus minutes is a long time. Daniel Royer not only leveled the game at the end of the first half with a penalty kick, but also provided the go-ahead goal later on to capture the win for the Metro. It was not without controversy; apparently the assistant referee indicated the ball went out for a corner but the center ref overruled him. Midfielder Alex Muyl thew in the ball quickly, standard procedure for the Red Bulls, and Marc Rzatkowski crossed the ball to Royer’s head. Once again, NY is Red.

There is a lot more soccer this summer. I’m looking forward to it. With love, we’ll find a way; just give it time.

Featured image:  @NewYorkRedBulls

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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New York Red Bulls Get Into the Groove

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Friday, June 28th: 3-1 Win

Twenty days after a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Union in league play –and following an even more disappointing loss to the New England Revolution in the Open Cup– the New York Red Bulls welcomed the Chicago Fire. 

I’m Waiiiiiting

Thanks to the Gold Cup, the majority of MLS took some time off so group stage games could be played in our soccer-specific stadia around the country. The tournament isn’t over yet, but since it’s down to the semi-finals, league action is back. While Aaron Long (USA), Derrick Etienne, Jr. (Haiti), and Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica) are still away as part of this biennial event, Michael Amir Murillo and Panama have finished their run. Perhaps he’ll just meet the team when they get to Houston this week. I don’t expect him to go out against the Dynamo in their midweek clash.

Let the Music Set You Free

This was the official Pride Night for the club. They really did it up, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Rainbow-numbered jerseys will be auctioned off, ticket sales will benefit Pride Live. But what really made the night was how fun it all felt. People these days are tense. Like, really tense. But the atmosphere was markedly less so…unless you were on the field. That’s really how it should be.

Such a Revelation

I mean… it speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Alejandro “Kakú” Romero Gamarra picks off Kenneth Kronholm on a pass back and scores the first goal just eight minutes in. It wasn’t so long ago that people were grumbling that Kakú wanted out in the worst way. Seems to me that he was in a bit of a dark patch and is on the other side of it now. I remember having two little kids and trying to do my job… wasn’t easy. And I didn’t have to be several countries away from my family and traveling regularly. I can only speculate, but at least things are working well.

If the Rhythm’s Right

Maybe I don’t give goalkeeper Luis Robles enough credit. I wouldn’t be the only one, mind you. He has just three US National Team Caps, and has never been selected for the MLS All-Star Game. The RBNY Ironman made a whopping seven saves against Chicago. SEVEN! The single Fire goal, from Nemanja Nikolic, only came after he collected one of those Robles saves. I can’t even be mad about it. I’m sure Robles can be, but that’s his job. All Robles can do is his job, and he’s damn good at it. I just wanted to make sure I said as much.

I Hope This Feeling Never Ends

Three goals, three goalscorers. This is a regular thing for RBNY. Brian White tallied his fifth goal for the season, sliding between two defenders to peg the ball in at the 59th minute. White was then subbed out to allow for the return of Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has been out with a soft tissue injury. In his 23 minutes on the field, he made the second assist pass to Kyle Duncan, who crossed the ball to Daniel Royer in the 93rd minute for a final goal.

The Red Bulls hit the road against the Houston Dynamo and Atlanta United before returning for (only) the first Hudson River Derby of the season back in Harrison. If the Red Bulls can continue to feel this free, we’ll all be dancing this season.

(PS: I was the Kindergartner singing Madonna songs in the 80s. Sometimes I have to look up the lyrics to make sure I have them right– not so with this one. Enjoy!)

Featured image:  @NewYorkRedBulls

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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New York Red Bulls Update: Don’t Tell Me

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 8th: 3-2 loss

Tuesday, June 11th: 2-3 loss (US Open Cup 4th Round)

Hello, folks. It’s been a while. And while there has been no shortage of soccer on my TV and in my life (U13 Flight Champs!) I’ve had a hard time committing words to screen about the New York Red Bulls.

We used to be Together

First the good stuff: I watched Aaron Long join the US Men’s National Team once again, but this time with feeling. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is taking place around the country, and expectations for the Yanks are guarded but high. The USMNT won it all the last time out, but that was before the overall collapse that kept them out of the World Cup (don’t drink every time someone mentions it– your liver can’t handle it). But the team is scraping their way up again.

Winning their group in decisive fashion, RBNY defender Aaron Long scored two of the team’s eleven group stage goals. They head to Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia (home of the NFL Eagles) to face Curaçao in the Quarterfinals. The hope is continued health and success (but mostly health) for Aaron Long and the rest of the USMNT.

I really feel that I’m losing my best friend

So, as does happen from time to time, my personal life got in the way of me watching the Red Bulls match against the Philadelphia Union. And until someone pays me to not miss this stuff, that’s gonna be how it goes. But I digress.

Relying on Twitter for updates, I was thrilled to see RBNY up by two goals at the half. Union have been at the top of the Eastern Conference for a while, and should never be underestimated. They have often been the team to ‘figure out’ the Red Bulls. But maybe this time would be different.

It wasn’t.

A come-from-behind win for the Union, including a brace and an assist from Ilsinho, cemented Philly’s position atop the East. But hey- at least there was the Open Cup for RBNY to sink their cleats into.

I can’t believe this could be the end

The Red Bulls usually make a deep run in the Open Cup, even making it to the Final in 2017. They’ve only lost the 4th round match once before, in 2014. They met the New England Revolution at their USL stomping grounds, MSU Soccer Park at Montclair State University. Weird flex, but okay.

The atmosphere actually worked out for the most part. But a Revs goal from Juan Agudelo in the first minute did not make for an enjoyable evening. Goals from Tom Barlow and Cristian Casseres Jr. gave fans hope. Until Teal Bunbury bagged a brace, including one in added extra time, to advance the Revs in the Open Cup over RBNY.

Don’t Speak

The next game is June 28th. Seventeen days since their last match. Thanks to Instagram, fans could catch a glimpse of players traveling to see family and friends before making their way back to training. Most notably, striker Bradley Wright-Phillips is fully training following a groin injury that sidelined him several weeks. They will welcome former captain, and new dad, Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire for their first Pride Night event taking place in June. It is not a time for words, but a time for action.

New York sports fans can be particularly salty, but one can do several tequila shooters with fan tweets of late. So as much as fans and press colleagues have missed nights at Red Bull Arena, they are wary of this second half of the season. There are still three trophies up for grabs, but it’s up to the team to do what it takes to earn them.

(P.S. No real commentary other than, “Wow I love this song.”)

Featured image:  Bill Twomey

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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New York Red Bulls Show Their True Colors

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 1st: 4-0 Win

Welcome to June! I hear it likes to bust out all over… but I decided against Broadway musical themes this season, so I’ll just leave that there. The New York Red Bulls hosted Real Salt Lake in a cross-conference match at home in Harrison.

In a world full of people…

From the moment I arrived, there was a celebratory vibe outside the Stadium. There were Cirque du Soleil performers and traditional Portuguese dancers. I walked past a freestyle exhibition and games for kids. Music was playing, and fans were chatting. This is nothing new. But it felt…different. There were more kids than usual, probably indicative of the school year coming to an end. The fans were excited… because they hadn’t seen the team play in a week? Because former RBNY coach Mike Petke was returning to his old stomping grounds? Because fireworks were expected after the match?

Because fireworks of a different sort were expected during the match?

Don’t be discouraged…

The first half was rather sloppy on both sides of the ball. RBNY had twice as many shots on goal as RSL, but nothing found the back of the net. Red Bulls also had majority of possession, but it didn’t mean much of anything. And while I’ve touched a little bit on what the High Press style means, I may not have pointed out that it actually does not rely on possession. However, I know that in the last few games, the scales have tipped to New York in terms of possession. Maybe I just don’t know what things mean anymore…

Don’t be afraid to let them show…

Just when it may have seemed that nothing was going to happen… a lot of stuff happened. It all started with the forced own goal, courtesy of Michael Amir Murillo, in the 58th minute. Then, before the red smoke cleared, Daniel Royer caught a pass from Alejandro “Kakú” Romero Gamarra and scored the second goal just about one minute later. Not content to have only kinda caused a goal, Murillo came back for more. He scored the third goal in the 64th minute.

And that’s why I love you…

That really could have been the game, just at the 64th minute. Three goals in seven minutes would pretty much do it. Soon after the flurry of goals, defender Amro Tarek had to come off with an injury, with Sean Nealis replacing him. Royer and Alex Muyl made way for Omir Fernandez and Andreas Ivan. In the 83rd minute, Ivan crossed the ball to Fernandez, who buried the ball in the net for one last goal. So yeah– that could have been the game, nearly twenty minutes earlier. But that’s not how RBNY played it. They just kept going. And that is what fans want from their team.

RBNY travel to Talen Energy Stadium next week to face the Philadelphia Union.

(P.S. The kids out there will more likely know the Justin Timberlake/Anna Kendrick rendition for the movie “Trolls.” But this original is the one associated with the Pride movement being celebrated around the league in the month of June.)

Featured image:  Sylvana Budesheim

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

New York Red Bulls’ Not-So-Cruel Summer

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

May 25th: 0-2 win

It’s Memorial Day weekend! The unofficial start of summer. And there is so much soccer to be had in the coming weeks. While I’m waiting for the match to start, I wanted to take some time to reflect on RBNY-adjacent information.

I sit around trying to smile: Legendary striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has been out for most of the season so far with a groin injury. I had that problem once, and while I most likely wasn’t anywhere near as athletic at the time as BWP is now, I can tell you it’s a tricky thing. You think you’re okay, so you try to get back to normal and you end up back where you started. So, while I can’t say with any certainty that this is what’s keeping him out of the gameday rosters, it would be totally understandable.

And the team is still afloat despite his absence:

Leaving me here on my own: Six players have been called to international duty: Aaron Long & Kyle Duncan*, USA; Kemar Lawrence, Jamaica; Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Paraguay; Derrick Etienne, Jr., Haiti; and Michael Amir Murillo, Panama. That’s… a lot of RBNY defenders. Tim Parker, Amro Tarek, Sean Nealis, and Connor Lade will have to stay healthy and focused. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alex Muyl return to the back line as necessary.

*Duncan could be held back by the team, but I don’t think that will happen.

The city is crowded: Now on to the match… I’m not alone in saying that I am very happy to see Cincinnati in MLS. The stadium was hopping, and so was the ball. Seriously– control was very difficult with the artificial surface. But it looked like a good time in the crowd. The Orange and Blue was prominent and the fans were plenty loud.

You found yourself: And it’s a good thing something was entertaining in the stadium, because the on-field action was mostly a huge yawn. For over seventy minutes, RBNY were unable to even get a shot on target. It took some clever substitutions from Chris Armas to turn things around. Alejandro “Kakú” Romero Gamarra scored in the 78th, and Brian White assisted Omir Fernandez to a goal in the 91st. All three of those players came off the bench. I mean… that’s just amazing. It’s like they pulled the win out of…. ahem– thin air.

It’s too hot to handle: Nineteen goals on the season; fifteen different goalscorers. The Red Bulls leapfrogged into third place in the Eastern Conference. It wasn’t long ago they were languishing in the basement. Like, I think it was last week. MLS is a fickle mistress, and we’re just along for the ride. Let’s hope the Red Bulls can keep this from being a cruel summer.

P.S. Let’s enjoy some ’80s-tastic tunes, shall we?

 

Featured image:  @BillTNJ

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

New York Red Bulls Keep my Fascination

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, May 22: 2-2 draw

Who doesn’t love a midweek non-conference match-up that runs right up against evening rush hour?

Okay, maybe not a lot of people. But I made the effort to see the New York Red Bulls take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. I just love me some “O Canada!”

And he was there, smiling and waving to fans who have never stopped loving him. Even though he tried to do to the Red Bulls what he had done for them not too long ago.

It seems a little time is needed: I am leery of any sport that adults can play with a quick turnaround, even multiple games in one day (I’m looking at you, baseball…). So it’s important to point out that a midweek game sandwiched between a Sunday match and a Saturday match is pretty rough. Not to worry! says the coaching staff. The “next man up” mentality is vital to the Red Bulls and their pressing play, so they tried something different. While there is no such thing as an unimportant game, this was a chance for Chris Armas to show what could be accomplished in an unusual situation.

Decisions to be made: No Parker- no problem. Sean Nealis went in after Tim Parker was sent off Sunday, so bringing him in for Parker’s suspension made total sense. Aaron Long still smarting from a hamstring pull? Amro Tarek will do just fine. Kemar Lawrence and Michael Murillo need a rest? Bring in Connor Lade and Kyle Duncan. When you want to give some time off to Sean Davis, look no further than Alex Muyl, utility player extraordinaire. Brian White and Derrick Etienne, Jr. got in a much-needed shift up top, especially as Etienne heads to the Gold Cup for the Haitian national team. But no one in the starting lineup was any sort of stranger to the pitch. This could have been a joyride.

The best of plans mislaid: Literally ANY time a team thinks that this should be easy is when it’s not. A massive counterattack just before the half-hour mark put the Whitecaps ahead, with Scott Sutter scoring the opening goal.

In an old familiar way: And get it back, they did. Tarek and White got their heads on a ball to level the match before halftime. White also crossed the ball early in the second half that Vancouver defender Andy Rose got a foot on before going into the net. I’m a generally positive person, so I would prefer to call it a brace for Brian White rather than an own goal. I’m also not a statistician, so I don’t have to be all that accurate.

And so the conversation turned: Reminiscent of the matchup against Sporting Kansas City, the Red Bulls ended up tying when they really could have won. The ball grazed Nealis’s arm in the box– and here’s my first time actually saying this for this season– and ENTER VAR. Vancouver was awarded a kick from the spot, which Fredy Montero converted to bring the game level again. Although Armas brought out some trustworthy attackers like Davis and Daniel Royer, as well as Tom Barlow, nothing found the back of the net for the remainder of the match.

So yeah– it’s a draw that feels a little like a loss. But maybe it was worth the stumble. We’ll see who and what the team has to offer Saturday, when they head out to Ohio to face FC Cincinnati (which I know how to spell now). RBNY scraped out a win their last meeting this season, so hopefully they can keep their fans feeling fascination.

Featured image:  @BillTNJ

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

New York Red Bulls Are the Storm

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Sunday, May 19th: 1-0 win

This may come as a shock to you: Soccer reporting is only a small part of my life. Outside of this, I’m your quasi-typical soccer mom. And quite frankly, the weather has really been cramping my style lately. So when I saw the weather forecast for Sunday, I didn’t hold back:

But it all worked out. My sons had their regularly scheduled games. I was able to go to Red Bull Arena to watch the New York Red Bulls face Atlanta United. The promised thunderstorm politely waited until I was home safe that night.

And boy, am I glad I made it!

You would always win, always win: Against the expansion team, RBNY has usually done well. Their tendency to falter in away legs– something they haven’t completely overcome– did them in during the 2018 playoffs. But Atlanta has never scored on them in Red Bull Arena. Something something fortress. I’ll let it slide.

And I threw us into the flames: The first half was mostly a whole bunch of nothing. Both teams were clearly determined to get out in front, which moved the game much like a tennis match. But in the 35th minute, Tim Parker received a straight red for a foul on Josef Martinez. Having already lost Aaron Long to injury, this match was shaping up to be a daunting task. But the team gave a collective, “hold my electrolyte squeeze bottle.”

And as it fell, you rose to claim it:  Tom Barlow, bright-eyed and full of promise. A midwestern collegian and SuperDraft pick. A powerhouse for the USL squad who had made the big time. His second outing, his third touch of the night. Substitute Sean Nealis supplied the ball to Danny Royer, who sent the ball across the face of the goal. A header that bobbled past Brad Guzan. Yes, *that* Brad Guzan. The only goal of the night, which led to Barlow being named Man of the Match.

But there’s a side to you:  Of course this match was touted as an opportunity for revenge. Particularly for Kemar Lawrence, who was injured in a match at Mercedes-Benz Arena and had to be taken to the hospital. Then a knee injury kept him out of the playoff series that Atlanta won on their way to the MLS Cup. The flu kept him sidelined for a few matches this year, and the team felt the absence more often than not. So nothing was going to hold him down in this matchup. I’ve spoken to Lawrence in the past, and he is, as they say across the pond, “cool as you like.” But he was all fired up as the game ended!

Is it the most sporting thing to do? Maybe not. But no one was hurt, and fans can have an appreciation for the passion. No one was penalized, so it clearly wasn’t that big of a deal. Now the team prepares for a midweek bout against former teammate Felipe Martins and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

You and me together nothing gets better: Also….the morning of the match, I had to drive my oldest son to his game. He just turned 15. While his team lost 5-1, he at least scored the one goal for his side. And the next night his team advanced to the semi-finals of the MCYSA League Cup.

(P.S. If you ask nicely– and buy me a drink– I’ll sing this for you at Karaoke night)

Featured image: Sylvana Budesheim

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

New York Red Bulls Dance On

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, May 11th: 1-3 Win

Just three days after their home loss to the Impact, the New York Red Bulls went to Deepinaharta, Texas…. okay, Frisco. FC Dallas, coming into the match in fifth place in the Western Conference, wanted to bounce back from a loss to the Houston Dynamo. But like a gift from the heavens, the Red Bulls turned things around and are bringing home three points.

A piece to the puzzle that falls into place: If you correctly predicted the Starting XI for the Red Bulls, you should go out and buy a lottery ticket. Word is that captain Luis Robles stayed home. I can only imagine an injury kept him out, even though he was not listed on the injury report. Weird flex, but okay. Ryan Meara has been amazing before, particularly in the Open Cup. The team was in good gloves.

Every soul in the room keeping time with their hands:Venezuelan midfielder Cristian Casseres, Jr. hasn’t made the starting lineup too much. But his goal in the twelfth minute should really make a case for him going forward. Also, Andreas Ivan with the assist was a thing of beauty.

The devil himself could be pulled out of me: When I first started following RBNY, stoppage time was nervewracking. They most often conceded goals in those last few moments before the whistle. That was what made the leveler from Jesus Ferreira so upsetting. Going into the half tied, while better than chasing the game, was not ideal.

There were drums in the air: Sean Nealis, the Hofstra graduate and 2019 draft pick, stepped up at centerback with Aaron Long recovering from a hamstring injury. While technically Michael Amir Murillo nailed the ball to the net in the 58th minute, Nealis got the credit for putting his noggin on it.

You could tell how we felt: Brian White also made a goal to sew up the game (85′). This was White’s second goal this season.  No Bradley Wright-Phillips? No Royer? NO PROBLEM! Let’s see if anyone from this lineup dances on into the night of the 19th, when Atlanta United rolls into town.

P.S. I had it in my head that playing Dallas called for a little Carlos Santana. Don’t give me a hard time about Chad Kroeger– for this song, it works.

Featured image: Bill Twomey

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