October 31, 2012
By Kristian Dyer
CHANGE OF PLANS
Red Bulls to hit the road for first playoff game
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the dates for the New York Red Bulls D.C. United playoff series have been switched. United will now host the first leg Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET before traveling to Red Bull Arena for the return leg of the two-game, total-goal series on Wednesday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
“I’ve been at the stadium since Sunday and I was there Monday night when the water came out of the river, we saw water come all the way to the outside wall of the stadium,” New York Red Bulls General Manager Jérôme de Bontin said.
“Some water on the parking lot, there’s no water on the pitch. The pitch is in perfect condition. In fact we took off the cover yesterday, the color is great. We could hold a game tonight if we wanted to if we didn’t need light and electricity. Unfortunately we lost power about 7:30 on Monday night and we’ve been living off the generator - a generator is not enough to provide all the electricity we need to hold a game.”
There is no structural damage to the stadium with only two street lights down due to wind. As of right now, the Red Bulls are uncertain when Harrison will receive electricity.
“We have some indication that it may take several days. We don’t know at this stage with certainty if we will have power back on Saturday,” de Bontin said.
On Wednesday following training at Montclair State University, de Bontin addressed the players and thanked them for “making the effort to be here” and gave them an update on the outlook for Saturday night.
“The decision in the end is not ours; the decision is the league’s. The issue goes way beyond the stadium itself. Can we get the team together? Can the players move around?” de Bontin said. “Even if we had power back, would it be wise to get the players on the road, to our stadium or another stadium? There’s some real issues if we should or should not play this weekend. It’s not my decision; it’s more the league’s decision. We feel strongly we have to do best for what’s our fans but what’s safest for everybody.”