After another successful Hudson River Derby match at Red Bull Arena in the US Open Cup, the New York Red Bulls head back into league play where they will beon the road against Greg Berhalter and his Columbus Crew.
This matchup is always a meeting of the minds when Jesse Marsch and Berhalter meet either at Maphre Stadium or at Red Bull Arena as both sides always try to out smart the other with their tactics.
But one thing has made the Crew a little bit more Dynamic and that is former Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes as he has taken his trade to the Crew very well and has shown that he is able to take on any challenge that is in front of him and so far he is at the top of the golden Boot race.
“Greg (Berhalter) has always been good getting the best out of his players and Gyasi has always been good and LA Galaxy has struggled the last couple of years and with the different coaches with their different styles hampering him.” said Luis Robles.
“But coming to Columbus he’s been doing great and he’s playing incredible so he’s the type of player around the league that most guys have respect for and you see what he is accomplishing this year and you need to game plan for his abilities.”
But for Bradley Wright-Phillips he wasn’t used at all for the US Open Cup match against NYCFC for the very first time in his MLS Career so, he was able to rest up and relax. But at training he looked strong, sharp and screamed every time he tried to pummel the ball inside the net.
“I went to watch a nice match yesterday, the New York Red Bulls played the other team and won four nil so it was nice to see these new youngsters play and they did well.” said Wright-Phillips.
But the one player that the Red Bulls do want to see is the Glen Cove Long Island native in Mike Grella who was loved, adored and was a apart of this club when he returned from his time in England.
A hard nosed attacking as well as a creative midfielder who would pick apart the defense and would deliver some fantastic crosses to Wright-Phillips as well as to other teammates and let’s also not forget that he scored the fastest goal in league history when he beat the Union in seven seconds to open a match.
But last year sadly Grella’s season was cut short due to a leg injury that couldn’t and wouldn’t heal for him after assisting a few times. Needed surgery to fix his issues and to finally get into a match this season and score a goal was a wonderful thing to see him do.
“I’m so happy that Mike’s playing, he went through so much last year and I know he was concerned about the injury, we were concerned about it the injury. We thought he would be able to come back from it and play this year but no one really knew.” said Jesse Marsch.
“When I saw him get back and score the goal I sent him a text that day and really happy for him. We miss him, he’s a great guy and he has a great family you know but on the day it will be something special. We can’t wait to see him and his family and it will be fun to compete against him.”
For Luis Robles he has been cleared to play in goal this late afternoon in Columbus. For the last four games Ryan Meara was able to help the Red Bulls get a win and a draw in three league games and the win in the US Open Cup. While it will be tough not to see Meara continue in league action, the Captain of the Red Bulls is itching to get back on the field.
“My knee feels great, the tough part was that it never not felt great. It was never a question of pain, but it more a sense of caution and we waited for the amount of time and the doctor’s cleared me.” said Robles.
“I know what a great goalkeeper Ryan is we’ve been teammates since 2012 and the guys were able to see that last year in what he brings and how valuable he is. He’s going to take that confidence where he helped navigate us in those difficult games. He’s contributed in a big way.”
So for the New York Red Bulls they will be ready to go for their big test in the Columbus Crew as these two Eastern Conference Foes will once again battle each other for a chance at three points and we shall see if the battle of wits will be the key between Berhalter and Marsch.