Fresh off confirming a new head coach, the New York Red Bulls are again getting ready to take on another Florida team, but this time back at the cathedral of North American soccer as they take on Inter Miami for the first time on home soil. Gonzalo Higuain (above) and the still-gelling Miami side will be looking for revenge after getting smashed 4-1 by New York in Fort Lauderdale late last month.
With this being an international match week, some players are traveling to their respective nations for friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches. For the Red Bulls that means Kaku will be with Paraguay while Cristian Casserers Jr. will be with Venezuela, while for Miami Rodolfo Pizarro will be with Mexico. What lineup adjustments will Red Bulls interim coach Bradley Carnell, soon to be replaced by Gerhard Struber, be looking to make?
“Sometimes I think without the ten do we put out another striker, or do we change systems. There are different ways and means to go about it, to other expose another ten or use a physical ten, Marc Rzatkowski looks great in training and he is available for us.” said Carnell. “Sean Davis is also available to us as well. So we are very excited about that.”
“The guys are growing from strength to strength and they are getting excited about it. We feel very strong about the squad and we are ready to go.”
For the first time New York Will face Miami’s new superstar signing Gonzalo Higuain, the longtime Argentine international and La Liga and Serie A striker.
“I don’t think we have to go to far to find the highlight reel to see how dangerous he can be, for the last couple of years. We have to make sure we know where he is on the field.” said Carnell. “We need to know where he is popping up, we saw against NYCFC he was trying to coach on the field and he was helping on it, urging people to be in the right position.”
“We have an indicator of what we are facing against, but when the whistle blows, it remains to be seen. They might have changed their structure a bit this time around, but it’s all about us, on how we go and take them on in the game.”
Aaron Long will probably be one of those players on the backline to pay attention to where Higuain is at all times.
“Lucky enough I have faced quite a few top quality attackers, but you just have to know where they are at all times.” said Long. “They are big time players for a reason, they can hurt you in a lot of different ways you just don’t want to lose track of them.”
“Limit their time on the ball and limit their space with the ball, our center backs are going to have to really pay attention to what they are going to do.”
Red Bulls attacker Daniel Royer had a taste of what it was like to face Higuain during a Europa League series in their younger days.
“I have played against Higuain before during Europa League group stage about five years ago when I played for a Danish club FC Midtiylland” said Royer. “Everyone knows him obviously and he plays for the biggest clubs in the world.”
“He has great vision, he looked very strong, great presence on the field, you couldn’t take the ball away from him. He has great finishing skills, neither of us were able to finish any chances, we lost four to one, but don’t look up the second leg score.”
Sadly Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles will not be making the trip back to Red Bull Arena to face his former team, as he suffered a fractured left arm in the closing moments of the last match against New York City FC.