Okay, here we go Soapboxers. It seems every game we play from here on out is considered the biggest game of the year. This game can defintiely be considered the biggest game of the year...thus far!
RSL will be attempting to tie the MLS home unbeaten record at 22, which is held by the Columbus Crew. They have not lost at Rio Tinto since the early days of May 2009! Think about that for a minute. In over a little more than a year, Real Salt Lake has taken their opponents to the woodshed and never looked back. I will admit there have been a few "squeaker" games bunched in there. But, all in all, RSL has been doing what they were supposed to do when this stadium was built in Sandy, Utah. That is...Defend Their Home Field!!!!
I don't ever like talking about streaks because if anyone knows me, I am a very superstitious individual. Even when I was playing sports in high school and college, I had a certain routine everyday in practice and game day. Such as, the order I put my gear on; left sock, left shoe, right sock, right shoe, and so on.
But, I am going out on a limb and staring Mr. Superstition right in the face and saying that we (RSL) are too good to lose this game at home on Saturday evening and this is our destiny to fall into a first place tie with the L.A. Galaxy in the Western Conference Standings (43 pts) and be right on the edge of taking this season's lead for the Supporter's Shield.
However, NY has been playing great as of late. They have won three (3) of their last four (4) games and Designated Player (DP) Thierry Henry bagged his first goal of what I believe will be many more to come in the game against the 'Quakes last weekend.
Both teams will be playing without some crucial 'ballers this weekend. NYRB's will be playing without their fine midfielders DP Rafa Marquez and Dane Richards, goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, and defender Roy Miller; while RSL will be playing without midfielder Will Johnson and Striker Alvaro Sabario. All six (6) have been called up to their respective national teams for the next set of FIFA International friendlies set to take place between Sept. 3-7.
It should be an exciting game this weekend. And if you know me, there is no reward for giving my predicition of the match but I'm going to give it to you anyway. RSL is excited that they are finally back home after a long 2-week road trip that took them all over the upper half of the Western Hemisphere. They will come out strong and tough against a formidable Red Bull side but that will not stop MLS's top goal scoring juggernaut in placing three (3) goals on the scoreboard and another 20,000+ Burger King breakfast sandwiches in the bellies of RSL's faithful.
Real Salt Lake 3, New York Red Bulls 1
What do the Soapboxers think...let me hear your thoughts????