Talk about a match-up of teams heading in opposite directions. The Kansas City Wizards are enjoying a renaissance while the Red Bulls are suffering a collapse they are hoping will be halted by the arrival of several new players.
The Red Bulls sure looked like they needed those players against KC on Thursday. They came out flat yet again, making mistakes and creating few chances until a late rally in the final 20 minutes led by second-half substitute Dane Richards.
SBI correspondent Andrew Keh took in the match and shared his thoughts with us (We’re still looking for a Wizards correspondent so if you are a KC fan and are interested, please send me an email.)
Red Bulls sad season could use a soundtrack
By ANDREW KEH
One thing I happen to like about being at a Major League Baseball stadium is hearing which songs various players choose to have blared from the PA system as they make their stroll toward the batter’s box. The images of professional athletes are so meticulously groomed these days that it is nice to see a little bit of personality—in this case, their taste in music—peek through from behind the façade.
For instance, when the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez chose Mims’ “This is Why I’m Hot” as his at-bat anthem during his 2007 MVP-winning season, we learned that his taste in music, just like his taste in women, was somewhat suspect.
This phenomenon obviously does not occur at a soccer match. So as I watched the Red Bulls lose 2-1 last Thursday to Kansas City—a team, as it happens, that before last week had not scored more than one goal in a league match since April 5—I began to wonder what songs would best suit this crop of players in their current form.
Oscar Echeverry would most certainly emerge from the tunnel, I thought, to the tune of DJ Unk’s 2006 hit, “Walk it Out.” But Echeverry, missing the subtler insinuations of the song—that is, a call to move about one’s chosen realm of weekend leisure, be it the club or one’s own house, with a manly swagger—would simply walk, literally, for the entirety of the game, as he has done all season.
Our goal-scoring hero Juan Pablo Angel would sulk out to “All Alone,” from the Gorillaz “Demon Days” album. This spaced out number, I think, perfectly captures the sentiment and current situation of Angel, who plays each game with a look in his eyes of equal parts anger and lonely despair. He scored Thursday on the type of vicious, fearless header that has become his trademark since arriving in New York. But, sadly, he is a solitary beacon of quality in otherwise murky waters.
Mike Magee, I figured, would want to hear Darryl Hall and John Oates 80’s classic “Out of Touch,” as song’s title succinctly encapsulates his relationship with the soccer ball at the moment.
I decided that Chris Leitch would probably ask the audio crew to play “Greased Lightning” from the musical Grease. This one I can’t explain—but I can’t stop laughing thinking about Leitch getting all unironically pumped up for this song.
I’m guessing Carlos Mendes is a rock fan, so he would probably choose The White Stripes hit “I Just Don’t Know What to Do Myself.” I have always liked Mendes, but his game is just not well suited for the midfield role he is being called upon to play in recent games. There is no way, simply put, that a team can win with the midfield the Red Bulls are putting out on the field.
This gag, I know, is becoming increasingly unfunny with each successive selection. But unfortunately I came up with a great list that I’d really hate to waste. So before we move on, here are a few more, quickly:
Kevin Goldthwaite: “Give it Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Danleigh Borman: “What Happened to That Boy?” by Baby aka Birdman
Dave van den Bergh: “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane
Claudio Reyna: “I’m So Tired” by the Beatles; “Old Man” by Neil Young; “Memory Lane” by Nas; “How to Disappear Completely” by Radiohead
Juan Carlos Osorio: “Is This It,” “Someday,” and “I Can’t Win” by The Strokes; “I Might Be Wrong” by Radiohead
Jon Conway: “I am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel
Juan Pablo Angel: “Give it to Me Baby” by Rick James
Seth Stammler: “Hustlin” by Rick Ross; “Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco
Andrew Boyens: “I’m Bad” by Rick Ross
Thierry Henry: “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
It is obvious that the Red Bulls have deep, serious problems, and it’s a shame that they are heading into the biggest match of the season at Giants Stadium—in terms of publicity and attendance—in such poor form.
They are disjointed and lifeless in ways that are difficult to understand through my television set and from the stands, and one can only hope that proper measures are being taken behind the scenes and in the locker room to relieve these issues.
The tragedy is that we have seen better play from these very same players earlier in the season. But the solid unit that had me dreaming about a season full of 1-0 and 2-0 victories late this spring has given way to a defense with more holes than a mini-golf course.
Which team will show up on Saturday, when the league’s top two scorers and their underwear model teammate arrive in New Jersey?
Who knows for sure? I’ll be there holding my breath, like everyone else.