October 14, 2011
'IT BLOWS MY MIND'
Ream on Red Bulls possibly getting into MLS playoffs on Saturday
By Michael Lewis
|Tim Ream on the possibility of the Red Bulls clinching a playoff spot this weekend: "It blows my mind, to be honest with you."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- After grossly underachieving and enduring a tumulutous results, the Red Bulls are in a position to clinch an MLS playoff spot this weekend.
That's right, they can put their misery out of its misery if certain results to their way.
This is what has to happen for the Red Bulls to clinch a berth:
* If the fourth-place Red Bulls (9-7-16, 43 points) defeat Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night and the Portland Timbers (11-13-7, 40) and the fifth-place Houston Dynamo (10-9-13, 43) do not tie on Friday night.
* The Columbus Crew must beat the New England Revolution.
* And the Colorado Rapids defeat Real Salt Lake.
While a lot has to happen, it is pretty amazing considering the Red Bulls (9-7-16, 43 points) haven't played well until late and have drawn exactly half their games.
Of course Kansas City might have something to say about that because the hosts are trying to win the Eastern Conference crown to get home-field advantage during the playoffs. K.C. (11-9-12, 45) trails the first-place Philadelphia Union by a point. K.C. also has been difficult to beat in their new digs, Livestrong Sporting Park after it opened up this June, sporting an 8-2-6 record in the Kansas City, Kansas stadium.
"We win this game and could possibly, depending on our results, put us in a guaranteed spot," Red Bulls central defender Tim Ream said after the U.S. National Team's 1-0 international friendly loss to Ecuador at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night. "It blows my mind, to be honest with you.
"Again, we have to go in there in K.C. and do what we did in Dallas."
That was a 1-0 win on Sept. 17.
"It doesn't have to be pretty," Ream said. "It's just got to be a win. Obviously, we don't want to go in playing for a tie, but getting out of there with a point -- obviously we want to get three -- but getting out of there with some points would definitely go a long way to finishing it up, even getting us into the final playoff spot."
Ream has to get the Ecuador match out of his head as soon as possible. He allowed his man, Jaime Ayovi, to get open and score the lone goal of the match in the 71st minute. Ream had entered the match in place of veteran defender Carlos
Bocanegra only eight minutes prior, which made the goal and the result even more.
Asked how he gets Tuesday night out of his mind, Ream replied, "You don't, but it's not going to stick with me. You don't worry about it. You make mistakes. That seems to be the way my year has gone. you move past it. Mistakes are mistakes. Obviously you own up to it that you messed up. Again, you learn from it and you take a step forward."
A giant step forward for Ream and his Red Bulls teammates would be a win in Kansas City.