New York Red Bulls Release 2011 Regular Season MLS Schedule
Much like their energy-drink namesake, the New York Red Bulls are known for top-flight speed and performance under pressure.
However, the upcoming year is expected to be grueling due to the expansion of the MLS regular season schedule to 34 games.
Last season, each club played only 30 matches and the addition of four more is sure to be tiresome coming down the stretch in October.
In determining the schedule, MLS commissioner Don Garber said the decision came down to two different approaches.
One idea was to maintain the balanced format of 2010 in which every team plays the others the same number of times and the other option was to move back to an unbalanced schedule that promotes rivalries.
It appears that the final selection was a combination of the two choices, as the Red Bulls play a balanced schedule, but have plenty of games against their natural rivals.
The Red Bulls will be kicking off the season against the Seattle Sounders FC at Red Bull Arena on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. and then head to Ohio to battle the Columbus Crew on March 26 for their first road match.
On April 9, the Red Bulls will continue their intense rivalry against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in a showdown that will be televised live by ESPN at 7 p.m.
How will the New York Red Bulls finish in 2011?
One item of note was the decision to schedule the D.C. United-New York Red Bulls game on April 21, which is a Thursday night.
Historically, Red Bulls faithful make the pilgrimage down to RFK Stadium because it is a major rivalry, but it will be a difficult trip to make this season since it's not on a weekend.
New York will travel to Los Angeles on May 7 to take on David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the rest of the dangerous LA Galaxy squad.
In June, the Red Bulls hit the road for a four-game West Coast trip, facing the Portland Timbers (June 19), Seattle Sounders (June 23), Chicago Fire (June 26) and San Jose (July 2).
Another highlight in the schedule is a tilt against Philadelphia at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 20 that will wrap up the regular season.
In 2010, New York set an MLS record for best single-season improvement, finishing with 51 points after having just 21 points the previous year.
Despite the impressive turnaround, the season ended in disappointment when they fell to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In 2011, Thierry Henry will be back for his second season in the league and the New York Red Bulls should be back in the race for the MLS cup.
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