16
Mar

NY Red Bulls have pro rock climber retrieve match ball from roof

image

Bringing the match ball out to the pitch is a pretty boring affair, and the concept of a man parachuting in has been so overdone. But the New York Red Bulls managed to spice it up for their season opener against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

Acclaimed pro rock climber Sasha DiGiulian scaled the roof of Red Bull Arena to retrieve a match ball that was fixed to one of the rafters, more than one hundred feet off the ground. DiGiulian also unveiled the official Supporter’s Shield Banner from the edge of the roof.

DiGiulian than posted a sick time-lapse video of her climb to Instagram:

Image and H/T: Original Winger

6
Nov

MLS Cup Playoffs Preview: Conference semifinals 2nd legs

image

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – New England coach Jay Heaps captured the fraught nature of the toil ahead over the next two days as he assessed the Revolution’s situation ahead of the season-defining visit to Sporting Kansas City tonight.

“There’s a lot of work (ahead),” Heaps said earlier this week after his side claimed a 2-1 victory in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal tie on Saturday. “These are playoff scenarios in MLS: you have to be ready for halftime, basically. It’s just a long halftime. It’s a tough task. We have a couple of days to prepare. We’ll go in there ready.”

The entire season for eight teams boils down to the second half of a two-game, aggregate goals series. Each of the four semifinals – yes, even Portland up 2-1 heading into a second leg at JELD-WEN Field – hangs firmly in the balance after the first half. The job isn’t done yet, though. And the way these teams see out the second half will determine the composition of the final four when the last of these conference semifinal ties winds to a close on Friday morning.

New York – Houston (Wednesday, 8:00p.m. – tied 2-2 on aggregate)

How – if at all – will Houston adjust to Jamison Olave’s absence?
New York must take the field without its defensive leader after he procured a red card for his rash lunge on Omar Cummings during the first leg.  The corresponding alterations – Markus Holgersson into the middle, Brandon Barklage to fill the void at right back – appear relatively straightforward from the Red Bulls’ point of view. Houston’s amended approach remains a bit more uncertain, though. The most straightforward play involves dropping Giles Barnes or Will Bruin and injecting a bit of pace, but the Dynamo – tried and true in the postseason – could find other ways to exploit the deficiencies without altering its personnel group.

New England – Sporting Kansas City (Wednesday, 9:00p.m. – New England leads 2-1 on aggregate)

Can Sporting Kansas City muster the necessary sharpness in front of goal?
The question isn’t whether Sporting will produce the chance or two required to pull this tie level. The home side will enjoy enough of the ball and send enough numbers forward to threaten at some point. Whether this group can finally break through when presented with the requisite opportunity remains uncertain. If Sporting fails to find its equalizer in due course, then its ambition could prove its undoing with the Revs more than capable of absorbing the pressure with its stout defensive shape and exploiting the resulting space with tidy work on the counter.

Real Salt Lake – LA Galaxy (Thursday, 9:00p.m. – LA Galaxy leads 1-0 on aggregate)

Will Real Salt Lake find a way to translate its possession into goals?
Big matches at Rio Tinto Stadium often unfold along the same, frustrating lines for the home side: plenty of the ball, not enough incisiveness. The infuriating recent history provides further incentive to start well and place the Galaxy under the sword from the outset. The desire to rectify past ills comes with a caveat, though: RSL must carefully monitor where it concedes possession in order to prevent the visitors from dashing through midfield or exploiting the additional space ceded on the edge by penalty area with the return to the 4-4-2 diamond setup.

Portland – Seattle (Thursday, 11:00p.m. – Portland leads 2-1 on aggregate)

How often will Seattle place Clint Dempsey in a position to change this series?
Dempsey posed a constant threat in the first leg without converting in front of goal. Any improbable revival effort – and it is decidedly against the odds given Portland’s formidable home record and its ability to see out these sorts of matches with its work in possession – hinges on whether Dempsey can turn those openings into a more tangible end product. Seattle paid Dempsey handsomely to deliver in these sorts of spots. The formation and the team selection must provide him with the latitude to do so.

20
Oct

Tim Cahill scores fastest goal in MLS history

image

Tim Cahill scored just eight seconds into the New York Red Bulls’ match against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, setting a new MLS record for quickest goal scored.

In a game with huge implications in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, Cahill got the Red Bulls off to a perfect start. Taking a long ball straight off the kick-off, Cahill headed the ball over Jermaine Taylor before beating his marker to the ball, letting it drop and finishing with a stunning volley. A great goal at any point in a match, a fantastic one when it comes on the very first play!

New York would go on to win the game 3-0 and retain their lead in the overall points race. New York can now clinch the Supporters’ Shield with a win in next weekend’s season finale against Chicago.

Cahill beat the old record by a full three seconds. Dwayne De Rosario scored just 11 seconds into a match in 2003.

Ed. note: Initial reports had the goal listed as being scored in seven seconds, but the official time has been set at eight seconds.