We are nearly within the final 24 hours before the biggest match in club history begins for the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday night, March 13th as the New York Red Bulls will face and host Club Tijuana in the Quarterfinal second leg of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League.
After an amazing road leg that saw Bradley Wright-Phillips add to his totals in International Cup Competition play and an insane amount of saves from Luis Robles that held up the result, now comes the moment where they need to finish the job and wait for their opponents in either Chivas of Guadalajara or the Seattle Sounders in the Semi-Finals.
“We’re really excited and it’s obviously a big tournament that we have valued and now put a lot into it, we’ve had a lot big games since I’ve been here so it’s hard to really put context into where this fits.” Said Marsch, “But it’s one where we are really excited about and we know that our opponent will come and feel the same and it makes for a very difficult match up but one we are ready for.”
When the Red Bulls were down in Mexico they thought they had the scouting report down to a science and knew what they were ready for, but Club Tijuana Manager Diego Cocca had other plans and threw a monkey wrench into the works.
“We’re prepared for the way they played last game, we’re prepared for the way they normally play and we are prepared for a couple of other nuances we think they could introduce.” Said Marsch.
“I think part of that is also preparing they might try on set pieces and we have a few wrinkles of our own, so I think that’s what makes these two game series so interesting as there will always be adjustments and the team that I think is most prepared for what adjustments that are out there, usually gains an edge in the second leg.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored two big away goals down at Club Tijuana as he was one of the reasons they have been very successful early on in the season. But he know the club have to be aware of how dynamic this side has been.
“What struck me was that they were very good on set pieces. I didn’t expect them to be as big and aggressive as they were, attacking and defending them. It was hard get into a rhythm when we tried to defend them they were getting to the first ball, so it’s something we looked at and something we have to take serious tomorrow because they are a threat.” said Wright-Phillips.
“I’ve never watched Liga MX. Since I’ve come over here it’s sometimes on the TV, but I really don’t know much about it, I’ve learned now since early in the season I’ve learned very fast. I have heard of some of the teams and I do know it’s a very respected league.”
The major difference in the second leg than the first leg will be the natural turf and the very cold temperatures that will be hitting Red Bull Arena as soon as the sun goes down. “It being at Red Bull Arena is also a major factor. It will be played on a nice pitch, played on our field and in the cold, so a lot of those things will be in our favor.” Said Marsch
On the injury front Jesse Marsch informed the media that Midfielder Marc Rzatkowski will be ready to go for the match as he is at 100%. The injury he suffered down in Tijuana looked horrible, but thankfully it wasn’t what it seemed to be.
But now the thoughts are on towards tomorrow night as the Xolos are coming to Red Bull Arena as the home side will try to make their own history as the first club to win both matches in this series against Liga MX sides as results have been either draws or losses.