The New York Red Bulls look like serious MLS Cup contenders, but they’re wary of Saturday’s road tilt against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
“They are a little bit of a mirror image of us,” Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch said of the Revolution. “They like to press, they like to play in the other team’s end, they look to force mistakes and force turnovers — then capitalize on them.”
New York (7-3-1, 22 points) sits in fourth place on the Eastern Conference table but is tied with first-place Atlanta United on a points-per-game basis. The Red Bulls have four wins in their last five matches, with a scoreless draw against the Philadelphia Union their last time out.
The Revs (5-4-4, 19 points) salvaged a 1-1 draw with Atlanta on Wednesday, thanks to a last-minute goal on a penalty kick from Teal Bunbury.
“We want to get three points, so I wouldn’t say it feels like a win,” Bunbury told reporters after Wednesday’s draw. “Atlanta is a good team, they have a lot of key players, but we kept pushing and we got a point. We’ll assess this game, and good thing we have a game in a couple of days against the Red Bulls, who are another great team and another great matchup, an Eastern Conference rival and we’re going to be looking to get three points in that game as well.”
The Red Bulls have beaten the Revolution four straight times, including a 3-2 win in New England last July. But Marsch says this year’s Revs are much improved.
“Oh yeah, way more athletic. They’re stronger, faster, more athletic,” Marsch said. “And playing on the turf and that field, they’re dynamic. It’s a good team.”
New York veteran goalie Luis Robles remains sidelined with a knee injury. Ryan Meara has filled in goal for Robles and played well.
Meanwhile, the Revs lost defender Chris Tierney to a season-ending tear of his anterior cruciate ligament suffered during Wednesday’s draw.
The Red Bulls have won three straight road games in MLS play. The team record is five during the 2000 season.
—Field Level Media