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Three Questions: Arsenal vs. New York Red Bulls

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It's question time!

I love the man but good god those shirts are ugly
I love the man but good god those shirts are ugly
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Arsenal vs. New York Red Bulls
Saturday, July 26 2PM PT/5PM ET/10PM BT
Red Bull Arena

Harrison, NJ
SBN NYRB Coverage: Once A Metro

The day has finally arrived.  Arsenal haven't played in the US since before a lot of y'all were born, and since before another lot of y'all discovered the joy that is soccer fandom.  But now they're here, they're playing one of the highest-profile teams in MLS, and a whole new generation of American soccer fans will now be American Arsenal fans. While I wish they'd have come closer to the West, there's time for that in coming seasons; for now it's just great they came to the US at all.

We're doing a Three Questions for this one because of its uniqueness; we don't and won't usually exhaustively cover friendlies, but MURCA. I reached out to SBN's Once A Metro blog to see if one of the authors would answer my questions, but nobody got back to me, so I'm going to answer my own questions again as someone who follows MLS pretty closely.  If any NYRB fans reading this would like to provide their own answers in the comments, please feel free. Anyway, off we go:

TSF: After a 2013 in which the Red Bulls won the Supporters' Shield, which is given to the club with the most points in the regular season, NYRB got off to a slow-ish start this year (not getting a win until the seventh game of the season) and are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.  What's the difference between 2013 and 2014?

ME: Age, for one.  Thierry Henry is 36 now, and while he was never a speedster in his tenure at NY, he picks his spots even more carefully now as he attempts to conserve his energy. Tim Cahill is 34.  The other main issue the Red Bulls have had this season is a tendency to start games slowly; they come out a bit tentative, and sometimes take 20-25 minutes to get into top gear.  Against lesser teams, that's survivable, but against a team that comes out attacking, it's a recipe for dropped points.

TSF: You talked about Henry and Cahill; who else is a threat for the Red Bulls?

ME: Bradley Wright-Phillips, otherwise known as "Ian Wright's kid".  He's already got 17 goals this season (in 19 games), and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

TSF: Given that the Red Bulls have a game that counts on Wednesday, how seriously are they going to be taking this friendly?

ME: No way to tell, but I'd be surprised if they came out full-bore; they need to get their season back on track and expending 100% effort in a friendly doesn't really help that.  As long as they don't get pasted 7-0 like the Galaxy did in their friendly against Manchester United, it'll be a success.  This game is less about the game than about Arsenal's first visit to Thierry Henry's current team, so it'll mostly be a fun evening out and hopefully NYRB will represent MLS well.