Four teams, one spot. Now, who is going to take it all? The Chicago Fire, Portland Timbers, and D.C. United are all in the horse race for the final playoff spot going up against the New York Red Bulls, who find themselves in a controlling position.
Of course, the Red Bulls will have to get the job done without their team captain, Thierry Henry, who will be serving out his red card suspension. Also in question is Dax McCarty, who is serving a team suspension for undisclosed reasons.
In a season full of drama, could it have really ended any other way?
New York controls its own destiny; a win against Philadelphia at Red Bull Arena is all it will take to get into the postseason. If they manage to tie the game, they will be dependent on either DC United losing or Portland losing (New York holds both tiebreakers). If New York loses, the picture muddles a bit: it will take any result by Chicago that does not overtake New York’s goal differential tie breaker and Portland accumulating no more than two points while DC loses or ties in order to give the Red Bulls life.
Did you follow that?
The drama unfolds this Thursday, 8pm at Red Bull Arena. Keep checking back for more updates.
Meanwhile, IT HAS BEEN BUSY! Grab your coffee and let us be your soccer newspaper as we delve into the weeks top news for this edition of the NEW YORK MINUTE:
64,140 FANS HONOR KASEY KELLER IN HIS FINAL REGULAR SEASON MATCH
What can be said about Kasey Keller that hasn’t already been repeated to death? The man was a trailblazer for American’s abroad, opening the gates at the highest levels of soccer to American players yearning to ply their craft on the World’s greatest stages. He was a leader for the U.S. National Team, and put Americans on the map with his legendary 10 save performance against a mighty Brazil squad. He is an ambassador. A role model. A three time U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. Most of all, he is an example for all future American soccer players that are fortunate enough to don the American colors.
His send off, in front of 64, 140 fans, was the perfect send off for a true American legend.
Congratulations to you Kasey Keller for a magnificent career, from the Empire staff and the readers of this site.
THIERRY HENRY v. FAN: RED BULL ULTIMATE WINNER GETS CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE IN PARIS
32 years in the making … the U.S. will visit Paris to face the French National team in a historic friendly to be played at L’Stade de France in Saint-Denis. This will mark the very first high profile game in the Klinsmann era outside of CONCACAF. The match is scheduled for November 15th; the final FIFA calender date of the year.
The last time these two teams met was 1979, when France dismantled the Red, White and Blue 6-0 at East Rutherford, N.J. in May and 3-0 in Paris that very October. Klinsmann, sporting a 1-3-1 record as U.S. boss, will surely look for a better result this time around.
Various reports are coming in from France claiming the Beckham’s have begun house shopping in Paris. I am not kidding! PSG Exec Leonardo has some strong connections to the English superstar, and may pull those strings to get Becks to ply his trade with the cash chest that is Les Parisiens.
Mind you. there are other suitors looking for soccer’s biggest brand to join their ranks; just ask Harry Redknapp! Still, PSG seems a viable option considering Victoria Beckham’s fashion interests and St. Germain’s deep pockets.
Can this be the end of the Beckham era in MLS? As a player, maybe … but I have a good feeling he will exercise that ownership clause at some point or another.
RICHIE WILLIAMS INDUCTED INTO DC UNITED HALL OF TRADITION
AGUDELO; THE FACE OF U.S. OLYMPIC SOCCER
According to a press release by Kellogg’s, Red Bull striker Juan Agudelo has been “announced in a select group of American athletes consisting of a US Olympic legend and several US Olympic and Paralympic champions and hopefuls training to represent Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
“Team Kellogg’s includes US soccer international Agudelo, Michael Landers (table tennis), Dwight Phillips (track and field), Summer Sanders (swimming legend), Rebecca Soni (swimming), Casey Tibbs (Paralympic track and field) and Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball).”
AND FINALLY, F.C. HARLEM INAUGURATES THEIR NEW PITCH
F.C. Harlem, a youth soccer development organization, is about to unveil their new, state of the art home field on 144th Street & Riverside Park below Riverbank State Park. The New York Red Bulls own Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez will be representing Major League Soccer along with Commissioner Garber for this historic occasion, along with the Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg.
Henry and Marquez will host a clinic for 30 players from FC Harlem at the renovated field, and will be joined by members of MLS W.O.R.K.S, the league’s community outreach initiative. MLS W.O.R.K.S. who made the donations to have the field converted to FieldTurf in an effort to keep the facilities open year round.