I have about fifteen minutes to offer up thoughts on tonight's game so I can claim I did something similar to a preview, and so anybody not at the game can leave comments.
First thought: The hourly forecast gives us a 50% chance of showers, plus wind. Dig out the waterproof gear again. (Did we use up our entire quote of good weather last year or what?)
Second thought: RBNY has a new coach this year, and rumor is that they have a whole new attitude as well. This is not the same disorganized (and later demoralized) side we beat 3-0 last year in our opening game.
Third thought: Kasey Keller definitely has the advantage over RBNY keeper Bouna Coundoul. Haven't seen Bouna play recently, but word is he's a bit...erratic. Which is kind of sad, becaue I've loved Bouna ever since he got thrown into the African Cup of Nations in 2008 after their #1 goalkeeper got suspended for partying after curfew. I think Bouna was the only MLS player in the tournament (?) and he made a couple of spectacular saves. I've wished him well ever since. And I will continue to wish him well once tonight is over.
Fourth: Juan Pablo Angel doesn't like turf and may not play. Poor baby.
Fifth: When it comes to speed, we win. If only games were decided by footraces.
Sixth: Not sure if play has changed under Backe, but I'm remembering RBNY as one of the defensive teams that give our guys fits.
Seventh, which is closely related to #6: RBNY are going to play for the draw. Something our side also does not do well with.
Eighth: Riley should be back at rightback (unless he's still injured), and most of the rest of the lineup should be the same. The big question mark is right mid. Dave over at Sounder at Heart expects to see Roger Levesque again. I'm not so sure. As Dave points out, other options include Sanna Nyassi, Michael Fucito, and yes, the new kid, Pat Noonan.
Sadly, my Red Bulls blogger buddy Dave and I forgot to set up our bet again this year, so there won't be any humiliating photoshop picture appearing anytime soon.
At least not from me.
That's it for me -- I'm off to dye Easter eggs. (You will be able to recognize me tonight by my blue and purple hands.)
P.S. Thanks, Dave, for the photo! (Which I'm sure you didn't mind me borrowing.)