Three Questions with Adrian Healey originally appeared in the August 21, 2015 edition of our newsletter, The Raven. Read it HERE.
This weekend. It’s West Coast vs East Coast. LA vs NYC. Stevie G v Lamps. A MLS game so big, it will be shown live in primetime in the UK. Calling the game for ESPN [3 p.m. ET Sunday] here in the U.S. is Mr. Adrian Healey. In this edition of Three Questions we ask the man who cut his teeth at Swindon Town to preview this weekend’s game and give us some predictions for the remainder of MLS’s season.
MiB: If you are an American MLS player on the Galaxy or NYCFC ... are you loving the pre-game buzz or a tiny bit resentful?
Healey: If I'm Tommy McNamara from NY or Alan Gordon from LA I'm loving it. A ton of buzz around our game, and a chance to wrestle the spotlight from the superstars. It’s like being offered a chance to open up for the Rolling Stones, and then blowing them off stage...and pinching all the food and drink from their dressing room.
MiB: We've seen some juggernaut signings in MLS this season. Who, in your opinion, will have the biggest impact, and who will be the most sizable bust?
Healey: Giovinco has been a massive success story, and at 28, it’s set to continue. Can do things that have never been seen before in this league, things that commissioner Don Garber didn't even know were legal in soccer.
Other side of the coin: Pretty much anyone Chicago signs as a DP. They have flamed out on about 14 in a row, which really takes some doing. Also, he's not quite there yet, but Jozy Altidore is veering uncomfortably towards bust territory. Six million dollars is a lot of money. Seven goals is not a lot of goals.
MiB: We've talked a lot about the marquee names. But the team with the most points in MLS, as of this writing, is DC United, a team that hasn't made any massive global signing. What does that say about United and the league as a whole?
Healey: DC United remind me a lot of Atletico Madrid 2 seasons ago in Spain when they won the title. No massive stars, but a lot of really hardened professionals who know how to win in the league. They play in the same "With a knife held between clenched teeth" assassins style that Atleti used to usurp Barca and Real. Plus coach Ben Olsen may be our version of Diego Simeone on the sidelines. A smoldering volcano of emotion and kicks every ball for the team he used to play for...and a few opposing players too
MiB: What's the best MLS team no one is talking about. A sleeper that could make a run for MLS Cup?
Healey: New York Red Bulls. The noisy neighbors are attracting all the attention, but almost stealthily, the Red Bulls have completely remade themselves post Thierry Henry and are actually a much more complete team. The only thing that might derail them is the search for the third Wright-Phillips brother.
MiB: Predictions for Sunday's Galaxy-NYCFC game. How's it all going to go down?
Healey: Galaxy 4 NYCFC 2. New York to score first. LA seem contractually obliged to concede first with Steven Gerrard on board. Keane & Dos Santos will be too much for shaky NYC back line. Poku will outshine Pirlo (except in the glossy mane dept). There will be lots of shots of Lampard’s knee or ankle while he is sat on the bench. Landon Donovan will tweet something about how he wishes he was out there. David Beckham will be sat next to Donald Trump, and wearing one of Trump's "Make America Great" hats.