The Red Bulls had a solid opening round tie against Club Deportivo Olimpia as they took advantage of their closed door surroundings in Costa Rica and then their solid second leg performance at Red Bull Arena to move them to the Quarterfinals.
But this time around they have a difficult opponent to face in the next round as they fce the Xolos of Club Tijuana in Liga MX as they were able to defeat Motagua of Honduras in a tight aggregate that edged them to the Quarterfinals.
But there will be no mistake from Head Coach Jesse Marsch as he knows very well what his club will be up against in this Quarterfinal tie against Club Tijuana.
“They are 4th in the league and they drew against Club America a few weeks ago and they have played in a lot of games recently and have done well.” said Marsch, “They are pretty consistent with their backline and their two central midfielders and sometimes they rotate how they use of their front four forwards,.
It’s a talented team, it’s a team that’s good on the ball, it’s a team that will spread ya and hit you in different spots. They are good on the counter, they are clever and sharper around the goal. When you play against Mexican teams, you know you will play against some talented players and players who are really good around the ball so it will test us in big ways.”
Tyler Adams has had some experience with the youth National Team when facing Mexico during international friendly games or in competition, so he is truly excited to play in this tie against Club Tijuana.
“I think that we are really, really, excited. I think that we know if that we advance, we could play another Mexican team and then another Mexican team in the final, so it could matchup very interestingly.’ Said Adams.;
“For us we know that Tijuana is a very strong team, where they sit in their table doesn’t reflect how good they are, but I think this sets up very well for us against a team tat like to set up with the ball and values the ball and we are going to use our tactics against them and try to get the best of them.
But what would it feel like to get the better of this MLS/Liga MX rivalry that has been going on for a good period of time. “As far as the league rivalry and where it will stand compared to their league I think it will truly show, that in the future we can really match up better with these teams.”
The one moment in this matchup when facing against Club Tijuana is that the nasty altitude won’t be a factor when playing against them in their Calliente Stadium, as most know the distance riving wise from the US/Mexico border is a 20 minute drive from the San Diego/Chula Vista area. So that aspect for the match won’t be an issue.
But for the Red Bulls this will be their third straight match in the CONCACAF Champions League without starting a league match as they will open on Saturday, March 10th at home to the Portland Timbers and their new manager in former NY Cosmos boss Giovanni Savarese. The challenge will be greater when fixture congestion comes into play very early.
Tim Parker who was traded from Vancouver for Felipe will meet the team in Mexico as he is currently still in Vancouver getting his things together, but Marsch sounded very positive that Parker will get up to speed and mesh with the team.
But for Sporting Director Denis Hameltt he is very happy about how the team performed against Olimpia and is relishing the opportunity to go and face Tijuana in the next round of the Champions League.
“It was a very good series against Olimpia, I think with the early games and giving the importance to them and to agree with what Jesse (Marsch) said that series was won in December.” said Hamlett, “With the commitment from the guys to get in shape and be ready for the series because it was going to be difficult.
Hats off to them and the coaching staff and it was good to get those two games under our belt and get ready for another challenge and be ready as I know our guys are excited for this big opportunity to face this Mexican side.”
So now the Red Bulls are ready to go and are already heading down to Mexico to face Club Tijuana as they will be playing against a difficult side, but hopefully can take advantage of the Xolos whose form wasn’t that good against Motagua in the Round of 16, but maybe their recent 3-1 victory over Buap Lobos in Liga MX might have given them the confidence to perform better this time around.