After a messy 2020 season, the New York Red Bulls qualified for the playoffs for the 11th straight season, leading them to a difficult opponent in the Columbus Crew that has vexed them in the past. The last time these two sides challenged each other was the second group stage game at the MLS is Back Tournament at Disney in July.
That was a two-goal clean sheet loss that saw the Crew take advantage in the middle of the park and score on the counter that caught the Red Bulls napping. The hope is that this match will be a bit different as the Red Bulls have had better results at Mahpre Stadium, now that Gerhard Struber will officially take over leading the charge inside his technical area.
“It’s been great to get the coaches in and intergrate him into the team you can tell that they can bring in more energy and give the guys a boost.” said Sean Davis. “A great addition to our staff. It’s great timing for our team.”
“We are all exciting about this challenge we are all going into together and all players and staff are excited about this challenge against Columbus.”
The Crew have been one of the best teams in the league this season, and lo goalkeeper Ryan Meara knows very well what the boys are going to be facing.
“Columbus for me is one of the better teams in the league. We have a lot of respect for them. We know we are going to be at our best to have a chance at the game” said Meara. “They are a good team with the ball, a lot of crafty, technical players and we need to find a way to disrupt their rhythm, with our pressing, but we feel we are on a good run of form, and if we do that we can make it very difficult on them.”
It’s going to be a difficult job for the Red Bulls to get past this Crew side, but with them finishing off on a high and the Crew finishing off on a low, as well as Struber being in the technical area, this could be the ace in their sleeve they have been trying to find.