The New York Red Bulls are in Chicago for their 24th game of the 2015 MLS regular season. RBNY is second in the Eastern Conference (with four games in hand on D.C. United, who they trail by five points). The Fire is last: in the East and MLS overall. The Red Bulls are unbeaten in six games; Chicago has one win in its last seven matches.
Mismatch? Maybe. RBNY has never won at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Never. Won. Since 2006. The Fire was terrible in 2014 and still won seven points out of nine against the Red Bulls. Bogey team? Seems that way.
How to balance the Red Bulls' thrilling present against their lackluster past and arrive at a prediction of tonight's game? Here's what OaM's contributors make of this mid-week match-up.
Aaron Bauer: 4-2 Loss
we are not good do not feed the lies that are taking over your eyeballs and your brain we will lose every game this is the harbinger of losses here to tell you this only winners get non run on sentences you all know i am right but won't admit it because of your weird security blankets.
I drank the water here in Brazil.
[Editor's Note: We should check in on Aaron. Anyone who happens to be in Rio, please look him up and let us know he's OK.]
Robert Celentano: 3-0 Win
RBNY is tanking along these past couple of weeks. I expect a lot of shots on goal and 2 or 3 slipping in for them, walking away with three points.
Ryan Dolan: 4-0 Win
While the Bulls are firing on all cylinders, the Fire is misfiring. No wins since August 2 and not much relief in sight.
Jake Evans: 4-1 Win
Decisive Red Bulls win. Chicago is weak and, unlike Philly, New York will be able to exploit that weakness for a resounding win. Verón will get the start and manage to get on the scoresheet, while BWP will continue his recent hot streak to score two. Sean Davis needs some playing time, and lowly Chicago provides that opportunity; he will continue his form from Chelsea and put one away.
[Editor's Note: Let the record show Jake is also predicting the scorers, including one for Harry Shipp for Chicago. If he's called not just the result but the scorers right, it's gotta be worth some sort of bonus points, yes?]
Austin Fido: 1-1 Draw
Betting against the team isn't doing much good for my positioning in OaM's 2015 predictions race, but RBNY has been prospering while I indulge my pessimism - and I am superstitious. I will keep expecting the team to trip up, and hope to keep enjoying being wrong.
Pat Glodkowski: 2-2 Draw
Chicago has notoriously been a difficult opponent for our team. Last season two out of their six wins came against RBNY. That coupled with a rivalry match over the weekend, the players may take it easy today.
Jason Iapicco: 2-1 Win
Listen to Red Bull Rant for the rationale.
Alex Showell: 3-0 Win
Chicago is winless in its last four matches and the Red Bulls are undefeated in their past six league matches. This will be an easy win for the Red Bulls.
Steve Toto: 3-1 Win
I got yelled at last week for predicting a loss to TFC. This is my redemption. Plus RBNY is much better than Chicago
[Editor's Note: The yelling happened on Red Bull Rant - tune in here if you missed it.]
Truman: 2-2 Draw
Listen to Red Bull Rant for Truman's take (also for the New York Post's Brian Lewis!).