It will be a slightly shorter road trip this week than the New York Red Bulls are used to. They will take on Toronto FC Wednesday night, but instead of flying into Canada, the Red Bulls will take a bus trip to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Due to logistical difficulties to international travel posed by covid-19 precautions, Toronto has been playing its home games there since the full resume of MLS league play, and tonight’s match marks the first time the Red Bulls/MetroStars organization will play a competitive match in the third member of the Tri-State Area.
“It’s going to be a quick bus ride for us, just a couple of hours. So nothing major, from a routine point of view, it’s going to be a trip to Philadelphia for us.” said interim coach Bradley Carnell.
Though they may be playing away from their usual comfort zone, Toronto has barely struggled. The Canadians are at the top of the Eastern Conference and full league tables and have won five straight going into Wednesday.
“It’s about growth within our group, we just want to move on from game to game the last game we earned a shutout and the full three points away from home, so pretty much of the same recipe in my opinion.” said Carnell. “On that note congratulations to Greg (Vanney) and his team they have been really good this season and very dominate as well, deservedly so clinched a playoff spot very early.
“But that motivates us very much, so we are looking forward to this fixture coming us right away, so we are going to be prepared for this one, and our guys will be very prepared to take on this side.”
There is still plenty of buzz when it comes to Caden Clark after his first career goal proved to be the winner against Atlanta on the day he signed his first MLS contract. Is this another notch on the belt for the Red Bulls in developing young players for the big stage?
“I think it’s just another tick on the box for this origination to have the ability to spot talent, and the ability to give young players a chance to show their talent when the timing is right” said Carnell. “There are discussions behind the scenes and we thought the time was right to do it, listen we haven’t been afraid to use young players and I haven’t been afraid to use young players.”
“We clean the slate and get ready for the next challenge in front of us. We don’t have to worry think about what works, it’s nice to have that piece of history maybe a proper piece of learning in the background, but right now we are ready for this game.”
Sean Davis returned from the injury list and put back on the captain’s armband down in Atlanta. Logging 77 minutes down at Mercedes Benz Stadium, you can tell he was happy getting back on the field and doing well. But he spoke to the bigger challenge they will face tonight against Toronto.
“They are a very strong team and has done very well, despite of them missing several players. That’s usually a sign of a great team, and they are going to test us in many ways” said Sean Davis. “We are going to look at film on them right now, but we all enjoy playing against Toronto, it’s a clash of styles, they’re a team that really loves the ball.
“We need to be on top of the details on them every time they are on the ball, so we can get the result against. When you see (Alejandro) Pozuelo He’s probably the MVP of the season, he’s dangerous with the ball with both feet and we need to keep an eye on him. It’s going to be a challenge, but we have some good momentum from the last game.”