The East Coast weather has gone all rouge and nasty on us again.
About the deteriorating conditions for tonight’s Eastern Conference semifinal second leg at Red Bull Arena: Let’s go with “far less than ideal.”
When D.C. United kicks off against the New York Red Bulls in New Jersey, with the high-profile total goals series all level, forecasts call for a rain/snow mix – no weather news is ever really welcome when the word “mix” is part of the text – along with high winds and temperatures in the 30s.
So, who benefits?
Always tough to say because there is such a factor of the unknown in these things. But let’s give it a try: Best guess is this will assist D.C. United.
Why? New York is a talented side, no question. But the success usually emanates from the technically gifted silkiness of fellows like Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Heath Pearce and others. There is certainly some toughness and bite (Joel Lindpere and Tim Cahill, for instance.) But mostly, manager Hans Backe built the roster around skillful types.
(MORE: PST preview of tonight’s match)
D.C. United has a couple more “mudders,” men like Marcelo Saragosa, Chris Pontius and Brandon McDonald. That’s not to impugn the skill of anyone (especially Pontius, who has ample technical craft in his personal tool belt).
Point is, in a match that might be more about fortitude and want-to, United has an edge. New York’s most prominent missing ingredient, as I’ve said before, is a bit more desire and urgency. If the conditions turn out as awful as it seems, dogged determination could rule the night.