The New York Red Bulls are on good form right now on this three-match unbeaten streak, with four games remaining in this abbreviated regular season. The team will try to add on another positive result Saturday night as they travel to the Windy City and take on the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field.
The Fire have returned to play inside the city at their original home after playing at Toyota Park in Bridgeview since 2006. The team has had an inconsistent first season under Swiss manager Raphael Wicky, who Red Bulls interim manager Bradley Carnell knows well from their respective playing days.
“I’ve played against Raphael Wicky, so I’ve known him for a long time. I followed him when he was the interim head coach at Basel FC (in Switzerland)” said Bradley Carnell, “ He gave them a fabulous run in the UEFA Champions League in a tough group where they defeated Manchester United and other teams.
“He’s obviously a astute coach and a student of the game. Some of his coaching is Red Bull philosophy and something we’ve been working with Red Bull and a little association there. It’s going to be a good match up, we’ve exchanged some good dialogue the way we’ve seen some soccer games. It’s going to be a good one.”
In this three-match unbeaten streak, Ryan Meara hasn’t allowed a single goal during the run of play, so far it’s only been two penalties that have beaten him, from Alejandro Pozuelo of Toronto and Nani from Orlando City. Meara has been good and, no matter how many defenders are on the backline, he’s been able to make saves when he got the opportunity.
“I think we’ve been pretty stingy lately. and for me no matter what formation we play in, we have to make it difficult for the opposition’s attack.” Said Meara, “Especially the last two games against Toronto & Orlando, they have the best attacks in the league and they are dangerous.”
“We are so committed to defending the beck four and the sixes, have been very good in front of me. We make it difficult for the other teams and if we need to make a run, we need to be good if not better so we can get things going.”
In another European reunion tonight, Chicago’s Slovenian striker Robert Beric is a veteran of the Austrian Bundesliga, where he often faced Daniel Royer.
“He was very lethal, he was a very good goal scorer and he was always dangerous. He scored a good amount of goals in Austria. When I played against him many years ago, but he will always be a dangerous striker.” said Royer. “Playing against Chicago we haven’t played them within a year, so it’s going to be a bit difficult to get a handle on it even though they changed their team.”
“It’s a new style of play, they are going to make things difficult on us as they will try to press us. They have Beric, but they will try to press us and make runs at us, all we need to do is stay strong and play our style so we need to remain calm.”