For the very first time since the 2019 Red Bulls MLS season got started, the team in red has finally earned a full week of rest, training and can look ahead into their next league match, as they get ready to welcome back Orlando City to Red Bull Arena.
As we remember the final league match of the 2018 Regular Season, it was that game where magic happened, when Derrick Etienne Jr. converted the only goal of the match and a loss by Atlanta United earned the Red Bulls first place in the entire league.
It also meant that the club earned their third Supporters Shield in six season, when the club honored their achievements at half time last week against the San Jose Earthquakes with Red Bulls 2 assistant coach Ibrahim Segkaya lifted the shield for 2013, recently retired Mike Grella lifted the shield for 2015 and Sporting Director Denis Hamlet lifted the shield for last season.
“We don’t think about it.” said Vincent Bezecourt “It’s a new season with the same goals as last year, but it’s a brand new season and we need to think about it the right way.
With Orlando playing one game more than the Red Bulls in league play, what will be the concerns facing a side who is in desperate need to earn the full three points on the road, not to mention after a disastrous home loss to the Montreal Impact where they allowed the Canadian Club to have an easy tally.
“Obviously we look at every opponent as a great opponent. We are just getting ready for this game and we will stick to our tactics” said Kyle Duncan “I feel like our players are also good and we will have a good match up.”
The big task defensively for the Red Bulls isn’t just covering Dom Dwyer, who is a major threat all by himself, but now Orlando City has brought over Former Portugal International Nani, who has assisted twice in three games. We all know he can take down any opponent all by himself.
“Every time we play against Orlando it’s very difficult, they’re just a good team, they have dangerous players.” said Chris Armas “Sacha (Kljestan) is such a tough, tough player to deal with because he’s so intelligent, and he makes everyone around him better.
“Of course there’s Nani & Dwyer. There’s a lot of weapons that they have and they have played some good games, they will come and bring in a big fight. They are organized as a team, they had to chase the last one, but in the run of play they can spread us out and they have guys that can stretch us.
The Red Bulls are missing several key players who are currently on International duty. Aaron Long for the USA, Michael Murillo for Panama & Kaku will be at Red Bull Arena to join Paraguay to take on Peru.
But on Thursday, March 21st the USA faced Ecuador down in Orlando at the Purple Palace on Church Street, with a one goal to nil victory, former RBNY midfielder Tyler Adams along with Tim Ream and Long were in the match.
Adams played as a Right fullback instead of a box to box midfielder, you wondered if that was something some of his former players and coach were happy to see him as a right fullback, or maybe felt he was played out of position.
“With Tyler he can influence wherever he is on the field and, you can hear him how he’s wrapping his mind around the position.” said Armas “If that’s a project moving forward?, was it on the day, was it to take a look at that?
“Gregg (Berhalter) and his staff are putting in a lot of time into having to get the most out of our guys, and the team, we trust in them and it showed as they were able to break them down, you can see how clear it was. Seeing Tyler was great to have a duel role.”
But now it’s time to get ready for this big matchup against the side the New York red Bulls defeated last season to earn their third supporters shield in six seasons and try to continue their short unbeaten streak to start this 2019 MLS Season.