I know we have a game, but this one's important. Should Real Salt Lake hire Mike Petke as coach?
Yes... take him. Background: Before Dax McCarty broke his record (by 1 game), Mike Petke held the RBNY/Metrostars record for appearances. He is a fan favorite. He played for the team through 2010, then worked his way through the staff to eventually become the head coach in 2013. Legend has it that when they asked him if he would like to be the coach, he immediately said yes and told them we'll worry about the contract later.
In his first season, he won the team's first Supporter's Shield in history. In his second season, he brought the team within a goal of making MLS Cup Finals. Then he was sacked. Fans were up-in-arms. We all know he is a good coach. Who else would have the audacity to bench Thierry Henry?
If it ends up being Petke, count your blessings. If not, watch him closely during his USL stint.
So, with that out of the way... what's new? It feels like last time we squared off, you had Thierry Henry. (I know that's not true.) Tell me about what I need to know about RBNY this season.
2) What's new is that the Red Bulls are in a bit of a strange spot. They are 2-1, but it feels like last season's 1-6 start. The team is trying the 4-2-2-2 again, but for the second straight game (and similar to last season), they ditched it for the 4-2-3-1 at some point in the game. Sacha Kljestan does not look comfortable as a wing midfielder. He's a playmaker that needs to be directing traffic as a #10, centrally.
Dax is out. Sean Davis is now a full-time starter. Austrian international Daniel Royer doesn't stop running all game long and has stolen Mike Grella's winger spot. 2016 USL Defender of the Year Aaron Long is beating out MLS vet Aurelien Collin for one of the starting CB spots.
The Red Bulls have gotten a bit younger, but the problem is they are playing a bit younger. They haven't really clicked yet. They have four goals on the season. The leading scorer is a guy named "own goal", scoring twice. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Royer have the other two.
RSL's been struck by injuries and absences. Are you optimistic heading into the game?
I apologize to RSL fans. I saw your injury/call-up/suspended list for this week. Ouch. The Red Bulls are missing three players of their own due to international call-ups. We are just two of the six unlucky teams forced to play this weekend. One report shows that RSL needs to bring in two Monarchs players to field a full 18.
I would say I am a bit optimistic due to RSL's misfortunes, but RBNY will need to show they are able to play without Kljestan on the field. We will have to see who can step up during his international absence. But if you've been an MLS fan for a while, you'll know the saying "that's so Metro". If there's a team that can find a way to screw this up, it's RBNY. We made a name for ourselves last year constantly blowing 2-goal leads. Fun fact: RBNY gave away 16 points during games in which they had 2-goal leads. If they would have held the lead in only half of those games, they would have won the Supporter's Shield for the third time in four years.