There weren't many fans at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, to watch Wednesday night's match between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
In a perfect world, the New York Red Bulls wouldn't have to face the league-leading Montreal Impact this weekend without Thierry Henry.
The New York Red Bulls, trophy-less in their star-crossed history, are hoping the eighteenth try is the charm.
Turnout was in the hundreds at New York Red Bulls media day, held this year at Pier 59 Studios in Chelsea Piers.
In the nearly two decades of New York Red Bulls/Metrostars history, the team has repeatedly made a similar mistake in personnel: getting the once-great, older player to come and disappoint. From Lothar Matthaus to Marcelo Vega to, most recently, Rafa Marquez, the story has played out in remarkably similar ways (though Marquez added a particularly brutal spin to it).
The few thousand fans who showed up at Red Bull Arena Thursday for the Eastern Conference semifinal match between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United, without question, were extremely excited to be there. They had to be.(1)
In a fan-relations debacle, Major League Soccer didn't call off a scheduled Eastern Conference semifinal playoff match between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United on Wednesday night until about an hour after it was supposed to start.
It is hard to know exactly what is more astonishing from this weekend's Eastern Conference semifinal playoff games: the incredible race to the bottom that was the match between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United, or the fact that whoever emerges from that matchup after the second leg is played at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night will probably be favored to reach the M.L.S. Cup.
The New York Red Bulls made certain on Saturday that they would enter the playoffs in the best possible position to succeed, managing to secure a first-round bye with a 3-0 defeat of the Philadelphia Union.
So now the Yankees get to relax, while the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers battle for the right to keep playing.
Henry has raised the level of play of the whole team, leading by example and demanding more of his teammates.
On Monday night, the Yankees took an enormous step toward winning the American League East, beating the Boston Red Sox, 10-2. The Yankees now lead the Orioles by a game with two to play.
It is often said that pitching is disproportionately responsible for the success of the better baseball teams. But pitching had little to do with the New York Yankees' playoff-spot-clinching 9-6 victory on Sunday over the Toronto Blue Jays.