After failing to win a single playoff game at home in Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls have now won two in a row. They toppled Sporting Kansas City in the "wild card" play-in game and then, just four days later, walked out of RBA with a 2-0 win after taking it to D.C. United. Holding the advantage in the series, the Red Bulls will travel to our nations capital tomorrow in hopes of going into a crumbling RFK Stadium and pulling out a result which would allow the team to advance into the Eastern Conference Finals against either the New England Revolution, or the Columbus Crew....but probably the Revolution.
Here's what we know:
- New York has a good shot at advancing.
Matt Coyne already filled you in, but the Red Bulls have more than a fair chance of toppling arch rivals D.C. United in the race to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Going into the second leg with a 2-0 lead is nice, but, thanks to the implementation of the away go rule this year, keeping United scoreless in the first leg is even nicer. Should New York grab a goal early, the round is all but theirs. Even a draw or a 1-0 loss would be enough to keep the Red Bulls in the playoffs and DC clearing out their lockers.
- Our boys in white don't travel alone.
If twitter is to be believed, the Red Bulls will be making the trip down to DC along with twenty seven buses, filled with roughly 6.5 thousand supporters. The actual number of traveling fans isn't nearly as high, but equally as impressive. An estimated 1,200 metro faithful will be boarding buses on Saturday morning to make the trip down I-95 in order to give New York the support they so truly deserve. Hopefully that support translates to quality performance on the pitch and a satisfying victory to celebrate on the long drive back home.
- Getting hot when they need to.
It's been said plenty of times that, in order to win the MLS Cup, you gotta get hot at the right time. If you witnessed last Sunday's match, then you witnessed a team getting hot at the right time. New York and, to be more specific, Thierry Henry had one of their most impressive games of the season, which piggy backed another impressive game earlier in the week against SKC. Henry seems to be schooling defenders for fun, Peguy Luyindula is back to his end of 2013 season form in the midfield and, after a late season slump, Bradley Wright-Phillips has gotten back on the ole scorin' juice. The center-midfield pairing of Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander has the defense operating on an entire new level and even everyone's favorite punching bag, Richard Eckersley, is playing like a best eleven fullback. This team is very very hot and D.C. is going to have pull out every trick in their book if they want to cool them off.