ADVANTAGE: New England
Coach Hans Backe said it this week; if you want to win this weeks match, you have to stop Shalrie Joseph and Clyde Simms. Joseph has long been one of the very best defensive midfielders in the league. Never afraid to get stuck in, the Grenada international has a multifaceted game which also makes him a distributive and goal scoring threat. Clyde Simms, a former DC product, has also become part of the physical middle of the Revolution. Flanked by Lee Nguyen and Kelvyn Rowe, New England will possess a style similar to New York’s wing centered midfield attack.
And after two weeks off for the team, who knows; maybe Benny Feilhaber will make a surprise appearance as well.
After a second calamitous appearance by Victor Palsson in the midfield, New York will likely go with a steady, if not softer Dax McCarty/Mehdi Ballouchy tandem in the middle, flanked by Dane Richards on the right, and Joel Lindpere on the left. Though injuries are part of the problem, Lindpere’s play has been an issue as well. In a recent conversation on SBI, he sounded off on his recent benching and Coach Backe’s assertion that he need only attack more to be made a steady part of the rotation again. Clearly, the Estonian international did not take kindly to the assertion.
Once again, New York’s midfield will be a toss up.