Two teams coming off disappointing results will look for scoring reboots when the New York Red Bulls host the Montreal Impact Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
New York (2-2-0) is fresh off a midweek 0-0 draw with Chivas in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, in which the Red Bulls outplayed the Mexican power but the scoring gods cursed them. The Red Bulls, who have suffered similar fruitless fates in the MLS playoffs, were ousted from the tournament on a 1-0 aggregate.
But Montreal (2-3-0) is coming off its own tale of woe in MLS play — a 4-0 loss at the New England Revolution while playing the final 76 minutes with 10 men after Algerian international Saphir Taider received a straight red card.
Thus, New York and Montreal are awash in extra motivation heading into Saturday’s meeting.
New York coach Jesse Marsch has put a positive spin on the CCL exit.
“If we are going to be a mentally strong team, then we have got to be able to handle tough moments well and move forward quickly,” Marsch said Thursday. ... “We have confidence in the group we have, we have confidence in the full roster and we know we are a good team. It was not random that we were able to make a run in Champions league, we have a good team.”
The Red Bulls, who fell 4-3 at Orlando City on March 31 in their most recent MLS game, are 2-0 at Red Bull Arena this season, and the Impact are 1-3 away. In a difficult scenario, Montreal will be playing its fifth game on the road early this season under new coach Remi Garde.
Moreover, the impact of Taider’s red card will be felt again, with Taider serving a one-game suspension.
“Saphir is a player that works really hard, both offensively and defensively,” Impact midfielder Samuel Piette said. “He’s the one that touches the ball the most in our team usually. He covers a huge area of the pitch, something we missed during the game against New England.”
The Red Bulls bounced Montreal 4-0 the last time the teams met at Red Bull Arena.
—Field Level Media