6.44pm- Believe it or not, it was not my first choice to stay home tonight and watch the Red Bulls. I had planned to go out with other NYU students from the Latin American & Caribbean Studies department, yet things transpired differently. The first option was to go out this afternoon to picnic at the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, but I had heard all week long that it was supposed to rain hard all day today. Alas, nary a drop fell from the sky. Meanwhile the other option was to go out tonight to a bar in SoHo called Botanica, yet I found out that the bar is several steps below street level. Hence, I’m here at home eagerly anticipating what I’m really hoping will be a Red Bulls victory.
We’re coming off a bye week into a three-game home stand starting tonight. Much like us, Chicago has underachieved this season and only lies two points above last place in the Eastern Conference. Not that we’ve fared much better as we are the team in last in the division. Still, it is imperative that we get our first win tonight in front of the home crowd at the swamp.
As was the case with our last game, I’m hoping for the best, yet expecting the worst. I’m such an optimist, aren’t I?
7.17pm- Just finished reading the latest article by Red Bulls' announcer JP Dellacamera. I absolutely agree with his opinion on the problem of having bye weeks this season in light of next month's World Cup. Still, I disagree with him in that I feel a 32 game season is far too long and 26 or 28 games should be the norm.
7.27pm- Out with injuries for the Reds: Buddle, Magee, and Graham. Not a good sign. On the other hand, I'm looking forward to the the battle of the goaltenders: our Fat Tony vs. former Reds' back-up Zach Thornton. Top-notch goalies that have been strong for each team; Thornton saved a penalty attempt last week, for instance.
7.30pm- Spoke to fucking soon. MSG reports that Fat Tony injured himself during warm-ups and will not play tonight. Give me a friggin break.
7.32pm- Here's the stats on tonight's strating goalie: Jon Conway. Not bad, but we could not have afforded to have Fat Tony as a no-show tonight. Fuck! Save me Jeebus!
7.37pm- Starting whistle sounds. Dellacamera mentions that Wynne will not be starting on defense tonight since we're going with a 3-5-2 formation. You have to be friggin' kidding me. I dread a blowout against us.
7.40- Conway proved himself a sec ago by stopping a partial breakaway. I breath a huge sigh of relief.
7.46- 12th minute; scoreless. Few attacking chances for either side, though Chicago seems to be a little more dangerous against our back line. They have more possession, though its a fairly even match.
7.54- Offense caught offside for the fourth time. Signs of improvement up front, perhaps?
8.00- Yet another big save by Conway on a breakaway. A heavier sigh of relief escapes my lips.
8.03- GGGGGGOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! THANK YOU JEEBUS!!! Looks like an own goal off of a Chicago defender from Stammler's cross. Peguero given credit for the score. Still, we'll take it since a goal is a goal!
8.13- Fuck, Djorkaeff's 37th minute goal was negated due to offsides. With halftime coming around the corner, we need to be a little more cautious on our possession.
8.17- Djorkaeff was thisclose to scoring off a 41st minute free kick. It has been a good past 15 minutes for us.
8.25- Halftime. We're up 1-0. We've evened out posession after the goal was scored. Chicago was dangerous in the attack in the last few moments but we held on. Now we need to make sure that in the 2nd half we can keep playing as smart as we did after the goal.
8.41- 2nd half begins. Fat Tony interviewed at halftime and he expressed his support of Conway and his hope on returning next week against Chivas USA (a.k.a. "goatfuckers").
8.49- Reds' offense has increased the pressure and nearly scored off a corner kick. Conway comes up with another big save against the far post. There's plenty of time left in the half, however.
8.56- Wynne was subbed in few minutes ago for Amado Guevara. Guevara is pissed on being subbed and leaves fro the locker room instead of sitting on the bench. "Tough shit, pussy" I scream at the t.v. as Guevara pouts off the field. He has done very little so far this season and tonight is no exception. Dellacamera and Shep Messing (MSG'S t.v. crew) rightly observe that this move is indicative of the unpleasant relationship between Guevara and the coach. Guevara's substitution is a wake-up call to him that he needs to step up if he wants to be an important part of the Reds. At this point, though, Guevara cares more about himself than the team and will most likely seek a way out of the Reds.
9.03- 1-1. Chicago ties via penalty from that dumbass O'Rourke knocking down somebody in the box. Obviously, it's our worst defender that causes the penalty. Fuck!
9.09- 75th minute. Amado's up in the crowd sitting with some acquaintances(?); MSG reports that after he was substituted he left for the locker room, took a shower, got dressed, then emerged to sit with someone along the first row. His days on the Reds are numbered.
9.18- DAMMIT! Djorkaeff hits the post as he tried for the near corner. Less then a minute later Chicago's Nate Jacqua blasted a strike off the crossbar.
9.20- 5 minutes left + injury time. We cannot afford to be content with yet another tie. Come on Reds, dammit!
9.25- Just started injury time. 3 minutes. C'mon we can do it!
9.28- Game, set, match. 1-1 tie. Should've won it inspite of Chicago having most of the posession or the PK comverted against us. Just frustrating and upsetting. "Jon Conway played well and deserved more" said Dellacamera, and he is absolutely right. Guevara's turned into such a non-factor that I'm eagerly awaiting him getting traded elsewhere (for suitable compensation, of course). O'Rourke ought to be berated for his idiocy in causing the foul that led to the PK; he should not be a scapegoat, mind you, but he needs to be reprimanded. I don't want to go on anymore about this as I'm far too pissed off over yet another tie. This was silly. I don't know if I'll live blog next week's game. (Maybe if I don't I'll be doing you a favor!)
9.43- Last thing I'll say about tonight's game: this post on bigsoccer.com made me laugh and cringe at the same time.