Jump to content

Red Bulls look to erase bad memory


Recommended Posts

Red Bulls look to erase bad memory

By Dylan Butler / MLSnet.com Staff


TORONTO - Carlos Mendes has a lot to look forward to when he steps on the field for the first time at BMO Field on Wednesday night. The Red Bulls defender gets to see former coach Mo Johnston and former teammates Marvell Wynne, Edson Buddle and Abbe Ibrahim. And he'll get to play in what has quickly become the best atmosphere in MLS.

But perhaps most of all, Mendes is looking forward to putting Saturday's disappointing 3-2 loss at Kansas City behind him.

"I'm excited, excited for the challenge," he said. "It's a new stadium, first time we're playing here and we need to be ready for it. It should be a great feel for the game tomorrow night and hopefully we'll come out of here with three points."

Playing with 10 men for the final 55 minutes, the Red Bulls were victimized by Eddie Johnson, who made MLS history Saturday by scoring a hat trick for a second consecutive game at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I don't think we played well at any point in the game," said Red Bulls head coach Bruce Arena. "Obviously, playing shorthanded for 55 minutes didn't help. There's not a whole lot of positives I can take out of that game."

And Arena will be without Clint Mathis, who for a second time this season will serve a one-game suspension for being sent off. Both red cards seemed somewhat dubious, but Arena believes Mathis, now the MLS all-time leader with eight red cards, needs to take some responsibility too.

"I don't think Clint has been treated properly, but it's a two-way street," Arena said. "He needs to be smarter on the field and for whatever reason there's a bulls-eye on his back so he needs to be smarter about things."

Because of Johnston's wheeling and dealing, Toronto FC has a formidable attacking duo with Danny Dichio and Jeff Cunningham and has won three of its last four games at BMO.

"They're dangerous up top and we're going to have our work cut out for us and we need to do better than we did last game," Mendes said. "Cunningham is a great forward who has scored a lot of goals in this league and [Dichio] has done well."

Making the task of handling Toronto's strong attack even more difficult is the Red Bulls' injury-depleted backline.

Outside backs Todd Dunivant (left quadriceps strain) and Hunter Freeman (left ankle sprain) and goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus (left ankle sprain) have missed multiple games and center back Jeff Parke left at halftime against Kansas City with left hamstring tightness.

A quick goal by the home side could turn BMO upside down and make it an even tougher atmosphere for the Red Bulls.

"Certainly that's the type of atmosphere we hope to have one day in the New York metropolitan area. That only helps the team," Arena said. "It's great and Toronto's proven that they are a correct expansion city for the league and I think if we can have other cities emulate what Toronto's done, the league will be much better for it."

Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...