So now we have a bit of a break in the fixture congestion that was known very well as the CONCACAF Champions League. And of course this start to the season has been tremendous going four wins, a draw and a loss defeating CD Olimpia and Club Tijuana.
Then a great home opener with a four goal destruction by the baby Bulls led by 17 year old Ben Mines who scored his first professional goal which was a brilliant moment to see. But now the Red Bulls have some big business to take on in Adrian Heath’s Minnesota United FC and that means more time to prepare for their next opponents.
“Will just be more prepared for this game because we have more field time to actually talk about what we want to get out of this match, so that’s been helpful.” said Jesse Marsch.
“But with that being said the guys have worked really well. They come in every time and put everything into it and helped us have early success. We weren’t happy with the performance at Salt Lake, but we will use that match to get ready for Minnesota.”
After their inaugural season in Major League Soccer Adrian Heath and his Minnesota United FC side have gotten off to a solid start in year two. With two wins in their first three games at Orlando and at home to Chicago under their belt Marsch knows that this match up will not be easy unlike the road trip last year.
“I think they have been really good I thought against Chicago they were dominant. I think their midfielders played really well and controlled the game and then they are much more sound defensively.” said Marsch.
“They gave up so many goals last year but I think they are better in the back, they are more organized and have gotten good performances from their goalkeeper. So, it is a much improved team from last year and a team that is playing really well so that is our expectations and we are ready to put it to the test.”
When you are facing a team that has improved and need your top keeper to make sure that the ball is going to stay out of the net, you need to know what he thinks is the biggest key to take on an opponent like Minnesota United FC.
“You look at their first performance and for the most part, San Jose controlled the game and when everyone thought that game was over at 3-0, they made a pretty good comeback and you start to see the feistiness and resiliency of this team.” Said Luis Robles.
“Then they go into the next game and they do quite well against Orlando, in Orlando, which is a very difficult place to play and they end up gutting out a 2-1 victory and then go home and have a great result against Chicago.
You can definitely see that this team is not the same as last year, when they were an expansion team they had a very rough start. You see they have some good pieces, they made some key additions and even some of their young players have stepped up in a great way.”
This week is the international break and sadly for the Red Bulls they will be missing out on Kemar Lawrence who will be with Jamaica, both Panamanians Michael Murillo and Fidel Escobar and Tyler Adams who is with the USA down in Cary, North Carolina at Wake Med Soccer Park taking on Paraguay.
This will be a big test once again for the depth of this squad as certain players will be called upon to get their minutes and handle a big task at hand against an improved Minnesota United squad.
“This is going to be a big match and they are coming in with confidence to play us Saturday, I think we will do great without those guys like Kemar, Michael, Fidel and Tyler.” said Florian Valot.
“We’ve shown that in the first game of the season when Jesse (Marsch) rotated most of the guys after resting them during the Champions League, so I think it’s just business. We will be well rested and we will be focused on facing such a good team.”
Sean Davis will be back for this game as he tweaked his left ankle before the Real Salt Lake matchup. So this will be the first visit for Minnesota United FC to Red Bull Arena and with this improved side ready to take on the Red Bulls it should be exciting to see what improvements they have made.