The Red Bulls had another week of rest and relaxation after having a full June to take on opponents in MLS inside league play and in the US Open Cup. After going down to ten men in and winning the match at home against FC Dallas, the club will now go on the road to Canada for the first time this season.
Their next opponent is the defending MLS Cup Champions in Toronto FC who hasn’t looked like defending champions at all. Even though they did well in the CONCACAF Champions League and lost in the penalty shootout to Chivas of Guadalajara, this side hasn’t performed at the level that you would expect them to be.
Toronto FC went from a huge victorious season winning the Canadian Championship, to the Supporters Shield and then the MLS Cup title, to a horrible league campaign as they haven’t done well and picked up some injuries along the way.
“I think we were very cautious in the very beginning of the year on playing time for different guys and we sacrificed some league play at certain moments to rotate the lineup. With my experience here in the demands we put on our players we require three things.” Said Jesse Marsch.
“We like fresh legs to be on the field, we try to avoid injuries as we know that can put your season in jeopardy and we love to give guys opportunities. So the combination of the three meant that we weathered the early challenges to the season in a good way.”
Jozy Altidore is out after foot surgery, Drew Moor is out with a quadricep strain, Chris Mavinga with a hamstring issue, so as of right now Toronto is not doing well losing important players like these even though they still have Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco performing for TFC.
When you talk about these games that both the Red Bulls and Toronto FC play against each other, you know very well that these two sides are very competitive against each other and when you discuss that incident inside the tunnel at BMO Field, you wonder if any animosity is still lingering for the Red Bulls.
“It feels so long ago to be honest, I’m not sure but at least I can speak for this group that there is nothing left over. We do feel a bit bitter that they knocked us out of the playoffs, but that little may lay inside the tunnel is over.” Said Luis Robles.
“For us it’s about executing our game plan, taking away some of their strengths and if we feel we are able to do that, we can out ourselves into great position regardless if we are playing Toronto FC home or away.”
Luis Robles had himself a great week after the win at Red Bull Arena beating FC Dallas down to ten men and kept the clean sheet. Yet it was fantastic to see the club surprise him at the end of the match as his brother Angel Robles came back from deployment with the US Military standing with the South Ward.
“I did away with him, I sent him off. He only wanted to spend 48 hours with my crazy kids and my family. He actually took off and spent some time with my parents today. but I am grateful for this organization to give me this moment to spend time with my family.” said Robles
As we already know Daniel Royer has been suspended for this road game as his yellow card challenge on FC Dallas Jacori Harris was changed to a straight red card after referee Ronald Sibiga got help from VAR.
But now it’s time to see if the New York Red Bulls can continue their good luck going forward in league play as they will try to face a dangerous and deep side like Toronto FC who is using this match up as a must win.