The Red Bulls are leading MLS's Eastern Conference (4-1-2 as of May 3) and have not lost at home this year (3-0-1), and while Chivas USA, based in the L.A. suburb of Carson, are only ranked No. 7 in the Western Conference, they rebounded in April after a poor start, earning a spot in soccer blogger Ives Galacerp's Turnaround Club. On the Chivas side, popular coach Robin Fraser juggled positions during the off-season with great success; watch for rookie Zarek Valentin at fullback. The hottest player for the Red Bulls so far is forward Luke Rodgers, who was recruited from England's fourth division. The website goal.com recently cited Rodgers's "gutsy demeanor and strong work rate" after he averaged almost a goal per game for the season. It's worth a trip just to see the state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena, designed to put the fans as close to the action as possible. (Fans are also drawn in by the unique sweeping roof, part of it translucent, which covers them but not the field.)
Sun., May 15, 7 p.m., 2011
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