The New York Red Bulls are back home for their next match in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals as they are behind by a goal on aggregate. Even though they are entering the second leg on a deficit, they feel confident that they aren’t far behind.
But the last three meetings in the playoffs with the Columbus Crew, the Red Bulls haven’t had any success and they feel like this is a different situation going into the 2nd leg at Red Bull Arena.
“The first thing we try to wrap our mind around all week is the task at hand, it’s a big one.” said Luis Robles. “It’s not by any means an easy one and yet when we talk about I believe this group has a lot of confidence in this match.
“There are certain dynamics we have to be aware of, especially away goals and aggregate score, but what’s most important is the approach to the game, the way that training has gone this week, I feel like everyone is locked in and ready to go.
The second part is going to be, being us and that means a bunch of things but if we can play how we are able to play and put it on our terms, then we have a great shot at winning this thing.”
There could be a possibility that the Crew could begin the first fifteen minutes attacking with the ball and then go into a defensive shell, to find a way to clog up all the passing lanes inside their eighteen.
So in that instance the question would be does head coach Chris Armas tries to find a way to change things up, either changing the formation during the first half with two attackers up top, or make the necessary substitutions before the second half beings.
“I think we are always trying to have a feel for the game, what needed, as coaches we need to see on how to alter things.” said Chrsi Armas. “We face deep blocks all the time. We can pish back teams, there is a lot of things Columbus can do.
“They can put five in the back, they can sit back, they can step up all the way, they can stretch you out, or build from the back. It’s a challenge, yet any team that we could play in the playoffs can be a challenge against us, but we will be ready.”
What we have seen from this Crew side is that head coach Gregg Berhalter has been a great game manager, when he needs to game plan against these rivals inside the Eastern Conference. At the same time the worry could be for some reason this match could go to extra time one a 1-1 aggregate score and if it reaches the shootout, how would they fair against Zack Steffen, who has been solid in these moments.
“He’s really good for them. You see him making that big save a the end of the first leg there, which was huge for them.” said Robles To get an away goal there would’ve been really great, but he’s playing for the National Team.
“But at the end of the day it’s not us against Steffen, it’s going to be us against the Columbus Crew, they are a very good team and they played as well there. We are playing at Red Bull Arena and we feel comfortable at home, we need to play Red Bulls Soccer.”
The atmosphere at Red Bull Arena should be loud and deafening, to help the Red bulls go out and attack the Crew all match long. We know the players will be excited to play in front of all their fans, especially the South Ward.
“I know that I have a decent amount of people coming and if that’s any indication I think that Red Bull Arena will be full.” said Sean Davis “It’s going to be exciting and that’s why you play these games.
“The fans have been great all year, so now to come back home for the playoffs, that’s what everyone is looking forward to when you get back home. We want to get back and play in front of our fans.”
The Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers playoff game went into the early morning hours on the east coast, if you thought the players were able to stay up and were able to watch this exciting 2nd leg, well you were mistaken.
But the job of the head coach is to watch these games and see what could be the possible opponents for either the next round, or the in the final against the representative of the Western Conference.
“I did stay up, but I didn’t get a lot of sleep.” said Armas “I stayed up and watched, it was entertaining for sure, but it’s a shame that someone had to lose that, but it was fun to watch.”
So now the Red Bulls are getting ready for Sunday as they are down by a goal on aggregate. They need to have a solid start to this match up and the hope will be to score more goals than the Crew and try to avoid a slip that will give their opponents an advantage on away goals.