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Preview: Chicago Fire vs NY Red Bulls

Can the Red Bulls break another road win-less streak in Chicago?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details

When: Sunday, August 10th, 8:00 pm Eastern

Opponent: Chicago Fire

TV: MSG, Univision Dep.

Standings:

  • Red Bulls: 6-6-10, 28 points, 6th in East
  • Chicago Fire: 3-5-13, 22 points, 9th in East

What We Know

The defense will have a (bigger) hole in it

Jamison Olave has one game of his two game suspension left to serve. Matt Miazga was given a red card against the New England Revolution for a Serious Foul on Lee Nguyen. Assuming that Damien Perrinelle's International Transfer Certificate has not gong through, that leaves the Red Bulls with only Armando and Ibrahim Sekagya as the as the only center backs available.

One curse down, one to go

In June, the Red Bulls broke an almost 12 year win-less run in Foxboro with a 2-0 win over the Revolution. The Red Bulls haven't won at Chicago since June 14th, 2005. Since then, the Red Bulls are 0-9-5 with 11 goals for, and 30 goals against.

3 All-Stars to none

The Red Bulls sent three players (Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Bradley Wright-Phillips) to the MLS All-Star game while the Fire sent none. Each of the Red Bulls players saw 45 minutes of action on the turf in Portland, and will be be on short rest going into Sunday. The Fire will have the healthier team and won't be missing players to suspension like the Red Bulls are.

What We Don't

Will the real Mike Magee please stay away?

Mike Magee was traded from the LA Galaxy to Chicago Fire last year, and helped the team rebound to almost make the playoffs, earning MVP honors along the way. He ended the season with 21 goals (6 for LA, 15 for the Fire), just one off of the Vancouver Whitecaps' Camilo. This year, Magee just has 6 goals in 15 appearances. He has had flashes of his 2013 form, but hasn't been consistent. The Red Bulls' success on Sunday may depend on which version of Magee shows up.

How will Petke fill in for Olave & Miazga?

The Red Bulls will have two center backs missing. Will he go with Armando (who has fallen into the doghouse) to keep four defenders on the back line? He could also slot in Roy Miller (who has played in the center for Costa Rica) or one of the rookies (Chris Duvall, Ambroise Oyongo). He could also go with a three man back line such as in the dominant second half against New England. We'll have to wait and see, but Petke has a tough decision ahead of him this week.

Which type of referee will show up?

The Red Bulls have not had the best of luck with the referees that have been assigned to their matches. They've had multiple dubious penalty kicks called against them without getting the same in return. They rarely have been given the benefit of the doubt this year. Mike Petke has said that the refs are even being told to focus on certain Red Bulls players. Will the Red Bulls (and Fire) get a referee that calls a fair match?

Predictions

Every game during the 2014 New York Red Bulls season will be predicted by Jason Iapicco, Matt Coyne, Tim Dean, Austin Fido, and Red Bull Rant co-hosts Patrick MacDonald, and Truman. We'll be tracking how well we do, awarding points for each prediction. For each game, 1 point will be awarded for correctly predicting a Win, Loss, or Draw; and 2 points for a correct score prediction. Let's take a look at predictions for the upcoming game.

Matt Coyne: 1-1 Draw

The Fire are eight points off the bottom of the table, thanks, in part, to a really, really terrible Montreal Impact team on just 14 points. The Red Bulls should win, but they're:

  • A) not very good in Bridgeview
  • B) have three key attacking players coming back from the All-Star Game
Conditions are perfect for the Red Bull to bust a road losing streak, a la the game against the Revs earlier this year, but they won't.

Tim Dean: 2-0 Win

The Red Bulls need one more solid win on the road to prove they're turning their season around and they know it. Dax McCarty has got to be feeling good about his performance last week, so I think we'll see more of the same this Sunday. Wright-Phillips can't stop scoring and Henry is just having fun at this point....not only will they get the win, I think they'll make it look easy.

Austin Fido: 1-1 Draw