For New York, everyone has been impressed by a couple of newcomers, Joel Lindpere and Tim Ream. Lindpere is a solid box to box midfielder with lots of professional experience. He is an upgrade from those who played this position in the past for New York. Rookie central defender Tim Ream is already a rookie of the year candidate playing very composed on both sides of the ball.
The key man though will always be Juan Pablo Angel. Even when he doesn’t have a great game he still has the potential to beat you. He scored twice last week vs Dallas, and would have had three had he made both of his penalty kicks. If you are Philadelphia, you have to deny him the ball anywhere near the 18 yard box.
For Philadelphia, discipline will be the key word. The Union have seen players sent off in the first half in two of their three games played. Losing Captain Danny Califf for this game could be big since you would have expected that he would be seeing a lot of the previously mentioned New York striker, Angel. Whoever takes over for Danny will have to have a strong game.
Philadelphia has had some good moments in the early going this year. Their possession game has impressed many around the league, even playing with 10 men. Young Roger Torres continues to make good progress. His vision and skill on the ball is more remarkable when you factor in that he’s just 18 years old.
You know that Philadelphia will have chances in this game. New York has allowed more shots on goal than any team in MLS. Philly will need to do a better job at finishing than Dallas did a week ago at Red Bull Arena.
Saturday should be a big night at Red Bull Arena as a new rivalry begins. Philadelphia vs New York has the potential to become one of the league’s best rivalries. If you can’t make it to the game, I hope you’ll be watching the Union on 6abc’s Live Well HD Network. Whether you are at the game or watching it on TV, here are some things to look for.
The atmosphere should be great with New York’s supporters meeting Philly supporters, led by the Sons of Ben. Enjoy the game everyone.