Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday Turnaround

Happy Tuesday to you. Two serious games on tap for tonight. The first is a matchup between New York and LA which is followed by the US Open Cup finale. We'll also talk a bit about the Montreal Impact. Enjoy your Super Tuesday.

The Titan Clash: More or less anyhow. Is it really fair to consider the Red Bulls a powerhouse? No. Should the be considered anything close to it? No. However, it seems as if in all sports, the New York vs Los Angeles brings out the drama to match the hype. In this case we have two teams who are moving in completely different directions. The Galaxy are on cruise control aimed at the Supporters Shield and will then look to make a solid run for MLS Cup.

Titans Clash- Henry and Beckham
New York on the other hand, they are in panic mode. They should be. Red Bull management has assembled an extremely powerful team that has under-performed terribly. However, it seems that Hans Backe is starting to learn from his mistakes. He is now saying that he's going to put Rafa Marquez in the midfield and use the back four which was so effective in Toronto. This is how he should have been used from day one. Consider also that Luke Rodgers is coming back which could very easily bolster the Red Bulls back into contention. A few key moves and the best MLS team assembled on paper could make a great run for the cup.

Los Angeles on the other hand is going to be fielding a depleted squad. Both Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are out. Read that: the two most potent attackers are out. Still, even with those two out LA still has impressive offensive players. The team is confident and has the depth necessary to get the job done. Mike Magee and Adam Cristman are both playing effectively up top and their defense is unrivaled. Count this matchup as a Galaxy win.

The US Open Cup: More than 35,000 fans are expected to show up at CenturyLink Field to support the Sounders in their quest to secure their third consecutive Open Cup title. The Sounders are riding high this season and clearly boast the depth to get the job done. Seattle is a more complete team than Chicago, undoubtedly. However, the Fire is a team that boasts speed unrivaled and will use that in the counter-attack. Chicago also uses it's midfield talent well and is a threat with shots from distance. This might be the only trophy an Eastern Conference team has a chance to win (in a final) and Chicago can certainly surprise the Sounders. Regardless of direction, a Cup Final is a Cup Final. Players will likely give it there all and tonight will certainly prove to be a spectacle.

Seattle want 3.
We spoke to Lamar Neagle a few weeks back about his team being in the final. Here is what he had to say.

Seattle has opened up more seats and made them available to fans. It's nice to see the US Open Cup garnering more attention and credit to the Sounders for putting emphasis on it. As MLS grows and rosters are expanded, teams are able to take these types of tournaments more seriously. The US Open Cup is the oldest tournament in the United States and certainly deserving of more press. It's been on the rise for the past three years and tying a CCL spot to it has certainly helped. I'm in a crowd that hopes see it continue growing.

The Montreal Impact: The Canadian expansion team is already in MLS mode as they're assembling players to try out. They do have their first MLS player though: Nelson Rivas. A defender who at one point spent time with Inter Milan. Also reportedly on trial there is Orlando City attack Jamie Watson, who we recently spoke to about his future. Jesse Marsch is assembling some potent talent and it looks good in the early running. I like that he's buildling from the back, and it would be great to see Watson have another go after taking the time to develop mentally and physically. Watson is a team an offense can be built around, not necessarily as the main cog in the attack, but as someone you can count on.

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