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What We Know, What We Don't Know and What We Think We Might Know: Sporting Kansas City Edition

In which we figure out just how much we've learned about our chances against SKC.


Has everyone finally started to breath again? Are your heart rates back to normal? Now that everyone's "awesome game hangovers" have finally started to subside, we can start looking forward to this weekend's match against another league leading team in Sporting Kansas City.

Here's what we know:

New York hasn't been able to find the back of the net against SKC in what seems like an eternity. If not for the help of Kai Kamara's own goal last season, the Red Bulls wouldn't have a single tally in the last five matches against the Eastern Conference leaders. It certainly goes without saying, but you can't win if you don't score. We can count on Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, one of the best center pairings in the league, to make it plenty difficult for our boys in white.

  • Tim Cahill is out...and that's bad.

By now, we are all well aware of just how important Tim Cahill is to the New York Red Bulls. Not only is he an engine of chaos in the midfield, he's our best threat in the air. Without him, New York is going to have a hard time dealing with set pieces (one of SKC's many strong points) for the next few weeks. Mike Petke is going to have his hands full trying to figure out how to make up for Cahill's absence. It will most likely be Eric Alexander's responsibility to take over the now vacant center mid position. So who covers on the right? That leads us to...

Here's what we don't know:

  • Who does Petke put on the right?

Mike Petke and Andy Roxburgh are probably wishing Bradley Wright-Phillips had that P-1 visa by now. Unfortunately the team's new signing is currently in London trying to get said visa, so he is not an option. So who's going to fill in for Alexander on the right? Loyd Sam is a possibility, but Petke has expressed worries about his ability to put in a complete ninety minutes. How about Marius Obekop? We've heard nothing but good things about the young Cameroonian midfielder lately, but he's still a bit rough around the edges to be completely reliable. Another option would be to move Brandon Barklage up to the midfield, slotting Markus Holgersson in at right back and giving Ibrahim Sekagya his first real MLS minutes. As it stands, Petke is keeping tight lipped over which lineup he intends to use on Saturday night.

  • Will last week's win help to break New York's road form funk?

Beating one of the best teams in the league at home is one thing, but doing it on the road in Kansas City is much more difficult. It's no secret that the Red Bulls have been just short of terrible away from home. Knowing that SKC is coming off of a hard loss to Montreal last week, they're going to be looking to make up some points in order to hang on to their position at the top of the East. Can we count on last week's win to be the spark that ignites New York's game away from Red Bull Arena? With a draw, the Red Bulls will slide into the top of the conference, sharing the spot with Kansas City (provided the Philadelphia Union and Montreal Impact fail to get results). A win could possibly give them sole ownership of the top spot.

Here's what we might know:

  • Jimmy Nielsen needs a new acting partner

Juninho's sudden trip back to Brazil caused a myriad of problems for the supporters of the New York Red Bulls. The biggest of which is the fact that we've all been deprived of "Nielsen v. Juninho 2: The Sequel." I'm sure everyone was really looking forward to seeing how they would top the first one. Unfortunately, Nielsen's scene partner is no longer available, so he's going be forced to turn his Greg Louganis biopic into a one man show.