The New York Red Bulls' slightly longer week has certainly felt lengthier than usual, but after finally picking up a win, New York heads out on the road to face one of the better home teams in Major League Soccer, the Portland Timbers. This game kicks off a run of four consecutive away games in league play (with a nice US Open Cup 3rd Round match at home mixed in) which will be a serious test of New York's ability to compete under trying personnel and travel conditions.
To put the Red Bulls' upcoming run of games into a European perspective, this would be like Sporting Lisbon traveling to play a weekend game against Spartak Moscow, then a midweek game against Zenit St. Petersburg, before a trip three days later to take on Olympique Lyon. Basically, it's insane.
As for the Timbers, they've cooled off significantly after a very hot start to the season. They've lost three games in a row as well as their last two matches at home, and been shut out in their last two in the league. Portland has seen its most significant drop-off in its attack: after scoring eight goals in their first three games, they've only found the back of the net just five times in their last seven matches in all competitions. This bodes well for the Red Bulls, who are weakest at the back but good going forward.
The Red Bulls team news is quite mixed: Dwyane De Rosario is back after Canada failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Gold Cup, but Luke Rodgers and Joel Lindpere are both listed as "Questionable" after picking up foot injuries in training this week. Chris Albright and Carl Robinson are both long-term absentees. Tim Ream, Juan Agudelo, Dane Richards, and Rafael Márquez are all still in contention at the Gold Cup (although at least one of them won't be by the end of the weekend), while Portland will be without Mamadou Danso, Bright Dike, James Marcelin, and Steve Purdy (who is somehow Salvadorean).
Kickoff is at 10 PM and you can watch the game on MSG+ as well as Galavisión. You know the deal: Live Match Thread, here, HEY YOU -- join in! Let's go Red Bulls.