The New York Red Bulls and first-year Los Angeles Football Club spent this week not exactly in the best of moods.
Both teams are hoping their moods will improve Sunday evening when the Red Bulls host LAFC at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls (13-6-2, 41 points) gave up three goals in the first 31 minutes before a furious second-half comeback fell short in a 3-2 loss to Columbus Crew SC on July 28. The loss snapped New York’s six-match home unbeaten streak and dropped its home record to 8-2-1.
“They have some big stars on their team and they showed up the entire season, but that means we have to show up as well and to bounce back after Columbus will be important and really intense, definitely,” New York midfielder Daniel Royer told the team’s website of LAFC. “The way they play will be really difficult to defend, but we’ll have our game plan ready.”
Los Angeles blew a two-goal lead at home in the final eight minutes and settled for a 2-2 tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 26. It marked the second time in five games LAFC allowed a pair of late goals and settled for one point instead of getting three.
The teams headed into the weekend in a good position in their respective conferences.
New York entered the weekend third in the East, two points behind NYCFC and five ahead of Columbus.
LAFC (10-5-6, 36 points) enter this weekend in second in the West but could end it in third, fourth or fifth. LAFC are six points back of conference leader FC Dallas, one ahead of the Galaxy, two ahead of Portland and three ahead of Sporting KC.
The sense of redemption and desire to get three points for both will also feature of a matchup of two coaches with a long-standing association.
Not only did LAFC’s Bob Bradley coach the Red Bulls when they were known as the MetroStars from 2003 to 2005, but he also coached Red Bulls coach Chris Armas. Armas played for Bradley as a midfielder from 1998 to 2002 and is entering his fourth game running the Red Bulls since Jesse Marsch left for German club RB Leipzig.
“Chris was one of the best guys that I coached, came in every day, had an incredible way about him, made guys around him better,” Bradley told reporters after training on Thursday. “I know as an assistant, that was a big part of his role. He’ll take that same way of handling himself turn it into being a head coach. Red Bull has a way of doing things and he’s been a big part of their success and I know he’s going to do really well.”
“Bob gets the most out of people,” Armas said. “That’s what he does. Nothing that’s surprising and yeah, it’s been great to see.”
Los Angeles FC added a new player to its backline by acquiring Brazilian defender Danilo Silva on a five-month loan from Internacional. The team obtained his MLS rights on Friday from the Red Bulls for a fourth-round pick in 2019.
—Field Level Media