The New York Red Bulls complete their mid-season four-game road trip with tonight's visit to the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium. The Red Bulls will try to break their three-match winless run in league play and keep their first clean sheet since the end of April against an Earthquakes team that they totally demolished earlier this season.
The 'Quakes started the season quite poorly, with just one win and six points from their first eight games, but have rebounded a bit and are up to ninth in the overall table after four wins in five games from mid-May to mid-June. On the positive side for New York, San Jose have failed to score in their last two league games, including last weekend, when five-foot-nine attacking midfielder Mike Magee was in the Los Angeles Galaxy goal for the entirety of the second half after Donovan Ricketts was taken off due to an injury and Steven Lenhart got Josh Saunders sent off.
Another positive point for the Red Bulls is the 3-0 thrashing they dished out to the 'Quakes at Red Bull Arena back in April. New York scored a pair of goals early through Luke Rodgers before wrapping up the game with a Thierry Henry strike in the second half. The three-goal winning margin was quite flattering for San Jose, who could easily have conceded five or six had the Red Bulls, and Henry in particular, been more clinical. However, the goal that Henry did score, a late diving header, opened the floodgates for him -- since then he's found the back of the net seven times and laid on three assists in nine appearances.
The team news is a bit better than it has been: Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream could feature in their first league game since before the Gold Cup, while Chris Albright has finally returned to training. Carl Robinson is still out (amid discussions about his future with the club) and Rafael Márquez will miss at least a week with a hamstring injury he sustained during the Gold Cup Final. Luke Rodgers is listed as doubtful, but could return for the midweek clash with Toronto FC. The Red Bulls don't have any players suspended, but Teemu Tainio is one yellow card away from a one-match ban.
Kickoff is at 10:30 PM and you can catch the game on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3.com. As always, we'll have a Match Thread going here on Once A Metro, so if you can stay awake, drop by and share your thoughts on the game. Forza.