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"They have looked good": New York Red Bulls prepared for in-form San Jose Earthquakes

RBNY and the Quakes have both endured a somewhat uneven season, recently buoyed by a pleasing run in USOC. If they meet again this year, it will be in the final of something - so this both sides perhaps can hope this isn't the only time they'll see each other in 2017.

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The Red Bulls just finished a long and grueling six-match stretch involving league and US Open Cup play, where they faced three sides in two different competitions.

But Jesse Marsch's men were able to score big victories over NYCFC in the Open Cup and in both league and Cup against the Philadelphia Union and the New England Revolution. The string of wins has revived RBNY's faltering season, putting the team in the semifinals of USOC for the first time since 2003.

"It was a really unique few weeks for us. You don't see that very often in the world of soccer, especially against close rivals like New York, Philly and New England. Looking back we won five of the six games and that's something to be really proud of, but at the same time we are in the middle of our season and we need to carry that momentum."

I asked Davis about what happened in the Cup match against New England when Benjamin Angoua was sent off by Referee Jorge Gonzalez: "The foul was on Bradley and that was probably the 6th or 7th foul committed by that defender, we were all frustrated and we were having words with the ref for a potential yellow card. When Danny (Royer) approached the ref, the defender smacked him on the face, not in a extremely aggressive manner, but not in appropriate manner either."

Now the Red Bulls have rested and recharged their batteries for a big match back at Red Bull Arena, as they will face the San Jose Earthquakes - who have sacked Dominic Kinnear and replaced him with interim Head Coach Chris Leitch.

Does this mean for Marsch that things change for him as he prepares for this mid-week match up against the Quakes?

"Chris has done a few different things tactically in rotating on how they use different players, he will be challenged like us on missing players due to suspension or for the Gold Cup," said Marsch, "But I know Chris and I spent a little bit of time with him at Chivas USA. He's a good guy and he will prepare them and work hard. They have looked good and they have gotten results under him so far."

Much like the Red Bulls, the Quakes will be short-handed thanks to the ongoing Gold Cup, but San Jose's Chris Wondolowski is in eye-catching form and will need to be watched closely by the RBNY back line.

"Wondo is an incredible player. He has a proven track record of being lethal in the box and we have to take care of him," said Connor Lade, "We're going through where he is scoring from and it's all over the 6 and all over the box. We have to put numbers on him and we know that his runs and his movement are underrated, I think his movements are incredible in the box and so it will be another tough test, but it's exciting."

It will indeed be exciting to face a different opponent for the first time in six games as the Red Bulls will host the San Jose Earthquakes. Both teams, as it happens, are also USOC semifinalists and if they both make the final the game will be played at Red Bull Arena. Whatever the result between them in MLS, both sides would surely love to have a re-match in the Cup. But they must each look to their league form for now.