The New York Red Bulls are flying right now. They have won three out of their last four with nine points, and right now, it looks like the team has finally gelled together at the right time.
Scoring ten goals and allowing three in this stretch has turned the tied for the Red Bulls. What had been missing from this side?
“ I think it’s cohesion. It’s been cohesion with the front group and the back group, I think it’s players doing much more for each other.” said Bradley Carnell. “They are staying more longer, sometimes we are playing shooting games after training. It was thirteen or fourteen guys contributing, it was like another training session.”
“The guys were willing to do the extra work, to put in the extra cross, the extra shot we got Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski on the ball and making the passes work and setting up the plays. It wasn’t just turning and shooting, but making the plays work and making sure we have a good connection to everyone on the field.”
The next opponent for the Red Bulls is a solid Orlando City side that has improved tremendously under head coach Oscar Pareja. The former FC Dallas player and the head coach has turned things around for the purple and gold, so what does Carnell need to do to prepare for this dangerous side.
“They have shown to be very aggressive against the ball, and they are comfortable on the ball, they have some difference makers on that team.” said Carnell, “We are expecting a good fight and a good battle, it’s a quality team. They do very well with transition.
“We also have to be aware of some of these good guys who do quick work with Chris Mueller being in the middle, like Nani out wide, so they have some interesting little rotations, and we’re excited for the matchup, because in the last couple of games we have been competing well. Very excited for the game.”
Since English fullback Mandela Egbo has come over to the Red Bulls, he has looked solid defensively and is already producing on the offensive end with the club.
In his last two matches, Egbo converted a penalty to open the scoring in Miami, and he delivered two fantastic crosses to score or extend plays for two goals against Montreal. Where is his comfort level with the club?
“We’re working hard and working well in training. Results are showing on the pitch. We never say we are comfortable out there, but at least we are getting the results that we need to continue to move forward” said Egbo, “I have to say that Major League Soccer is a very physical league and it’s very challenging over here to play as well.”
“We have discussed how successful that Orlando has played, it feels like it’s going to be the same type of game we played against both Miami and Montreal we needed to take day to day sessions before we take on Orlando, but what I have seen is that we have to focus on ourselves first before we take on the game plan against them.”
On the injury front, Ryan Meara will travel with the club to Orlando for selection, and both captain Sean Davis and Marc Rzatkowski are doing well in training and may be close to returning. However rookie left back Patrick Seagrist is still out.
But knowing what this Orlando City side can do, the Red Bulls need to continue to move forward and find ways once again to finish their chances and continue to climb the ladder of the Eastern Conference.