The New York Red Bulls are preparing themselves to play another big game. The regular season's only match against Los Angeles Galaxy will be at the Stub Hub Center this year. Currently, the Galaxy sits in third place in the Western Conference.
This will be a big test for the Red Bulls. They will face the likes of Steven Gerrard, Nigel de Jong, Giovanni Dos Santos, and homegrown players like Gyasi Zardes and Jose Villarreal. And on the sidelines will be one of the best coaches that MLS has ever known: Bruce Arena.
It will be interesting to see if Jesse Marsch and his side make any concessions to the fact they are up against a legend of a coach like Arena. Does RBNY's head coach think he needs to do something extra special to match wits against the living hall of famer? "I don't look at it as trying to match wits with Bruce. I look at it to prepare my team against a good team at home," said Marsch, "Bruce, I know he's very good at preparing his team for big games and they would know that this will be a good challenge and both sides will be ready to face each other."
The summer transfer window is a reliable source of big-name players for MLS, but it can take new arrivals from foreign countries a while to settle. When Steven Gerrard came over to join LA, he didn't look as sharp or comfortable when he started to play as might be expected of a player of his reputation. Now he is fully acclimatized, and he has been a dangerous player since the start of the season.
"Gerrard is an incredible pro and an incredible player and leader. Sometimes when you come in the midterm you can't adjust that quickly, but now he's doing a good job within the league. It's natural that this happens after you come into the league and have a better start. Like dos Santos, Van Damme and others who come over."
Let's also not forget when Thierry Henry came over after the 2010 World Cup to the New York Red Bulls, he had his own issues as well. Let's also hope that Omer Damari and Daniel Royer will not have that problem when they start, but Marsch has told us that one of RBNY's summer signings is ahead of the other.
"Right now I think just in fitness wise Danny is ahead of Omer, so we got a bit of work to get Omer up to speed with the fitness, so we can get him to contribute in matches. Speaking specifically about Omer, he is such a smart player, so clever on how to see things quickly and delivers the next ball that sets up his guy with a really good play.
He has a lot of savvy on the ball and watching him set up with Sean (Davis), Sacha (Kljestan) was exciting. He's going to bring a lot of intelligence to our team. Danny has his way of running and pushing his way into positions to cover ground and help his team to create plays was good too.
What's good about Omer is that he has spent time with both Leipzig and Salzburg. He knows how we want to play as well, and the fact that Royer naturally fits in with what we want to do - both men can fit in here seamlessly. We are excited about both, but the main issue is to get them up to speed."
Can the Red Bull get just their second win on the road in MLS at the Stub Hub Center against Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy? We will find out on Sunday night on Fox Sports 1.