Following up on my comments from last week, I have no particular feelings about the Red Bulls one way or another. I want Dallas to win – because I always want to win – and I want to show that our Homegrowns are better than their Homegrowns... but that’s all the emotional baggage I can summon at the moment. When I sat down to watch their match against Montreal, I had to lookup more than half the roster. As it turns out, I don’t watch many Red Bull matches; in fact, I’d wager the last time I saw them play I was scouting the other team. Which makes me wonder – how many MLS games per week do the rest of you watch? I’m quite familiar with Western Conference teams, but not so much the East.
Gerhard Struber’s team enters this week’s contest in third place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points and a record of 3W-2L-1D. Surprisingly, all of their wins have come on the road. The two losses and a draw came at home. And we’re playing in New York. Well... New Jersey.
|4/2||New England||0-1||New York|
Like FC Dallas, the Red Bulls have scored ten goals this season (nine if we don’t count the own goal two weeks ago). However, seven of those came in the first two games (against San Jose and Toronto). The last four games have been less kind even though the competition has been less top quality. New York had multiple opportunities in the first half before Montreal found their way back into the game, but they couldn’t put the Canadians away and then goalkeeper Carlos Coronel gave away a goal that... well if there’s a highlight reel for keeper gaffes at the end of the season, that one will be there. And the week before, the match-winner was an own goal in the dying moments. So that’s two offensive goals in the last four matches.
We all know how the Red Bulls play. They will press high, often, and aggressively. New York leads the league in fouls committed so far this season with 125 – 25 more than second place (Dallas has only 77...middle of the pack) - so I fear we may spend an unusual amount of time this week picking ourselves up off the ground. In addition, they’ve racked up 18 yellow cards (five more than Dallas). Nico Estevez has done a good job making tactical adjustments this season, and he will need to do so to match the aggression. New York wants to create turnovers and transition quickly to offense. That’s what they do. They are near the bottom of the league in terms of number of passes because they play as directly as possible.
Player Notes for New York Red Bulls:
I’m going to give you more than my usual – there are several players here that I didn’t know, so I’m giving you what I can.
- Patryk Klimala: First, I give you the words of Matt Doyle : “...the underlying numbers remain high on DP striker Patryk Klimala. He does a lot of work both on and off the ball, gets into great spots and generally looks the part of a guy who can lead the line for a good MLS team. He also has just six non-penalty goals in a touch over 2,600 minutes since his arrival in Harrison. That is not enough, and we’re getting up to the type of sample size where it’s starting to feel a little like the sunk cost fallacy is coming into play. He’s got to start producing or he’s going to lose his job and the Red Bulls are going to lose more games.
- Omir Fernandez: The playmaker scored the lone goal for the side against Montreal but had several dangerous looks.
- Lewis Morgan: Traded from Miami in the offseason. Ben Cork at Once a Metro describes Morgan as “...athletic and technical, but somewhat direct....” He leads the squad with three goals but there are calls to move him to wingback
- Tom Edwards: Center-back/right back - His long throws are dangerous. He put a throw-in from almost midfield into the penalty area as well as several that were closer up
- Frankie Amaya: the former Cincinnati midfielder picked up a second yellow in New York’s outing against New England but he still leads the team with 15 tackles. Struber said their attack struggled last without Amaya – too many backward passes from midfield instead of progressive play.
- Aaron Long: The USMNT center back and New York captain earned his way back into Berhalter’s squad with strong performances for the Red Bulls
- Luquinhas: 12 goals, 18 assists in 110 appearances for Polish first division side Legia Warszawa. He is the big DP acquisition, but he arrived late and has played only limited minutes.
- Carlos Coronel: The keeper arrived in the offseason in a trade from Red Bull Salzburg.
- Dylan Nealis: the center back arrived in the offseason from Nashville
- John Tolkin – Know the young homegrown by his hair. You’ll know what I mean. The left back gets up and down the line aggressively.
- Dru Yearwood: The English defensive mid is winning more than 75% of his duels and successfully progresses the ball
New York played a 4-2-3-1 last week with Amaya out, but may return to a 3-4-1-2 look with Amaya returning. The question here may be whether DP attacker Luquinhas retains his starting position
Luquinhas – Fernandez – Morgan
Yearwood – Amaya
Tolkin – Long – Nealis – Edwards
OUT: Andres Reyes (foot), Wiki Carmona (foot), Cameron Harper (quad), Serge Ngoma (hamstring), Caden Clark (knee)
Saturday, 4/16, at 6:00 PM. Should be about 70 degrees with a strong chance of rain.