Just ten days after New York Red Bulls suffered a late 1-0 loss to D.C. United that ended up being Chris Armas’ final game as head coach, the two teams meet again in the nation’s capital.
As the Red Bulls were reminded last Wedneday, Ben Olsen loves to bunker in the hopes of the nicking the odd goal. DC attempted a similar strategy in a scoreless draw a few days ago New York City FC with a low block, and interim manager Bradley Carnell will be aware of this tactic as he plans to take on their big rivals down at Audi Field in the nation’s capital.
“I think how to approach this week, but eventually it’s going to be about us. It’s our mentality and how we handle the game. Either playing at home or away, we won’t we won’t change anything.” Said Carnell, “What are we feeling? Sure we need to address the game in a different manner, barring their defensive posture, they want to get organized and going against their counter.
“We’ve had a couple of days to recharge and prepare for this game, get these guys going in training and to see the energy and the battle for places has been going well, so it’s been very positive for the last three to four days, so it’s been all about us.”
The team has been unable to score consistently since the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. The team has not scored multiple goals in a game since March, but for Carnell, it doesn’t matter who scores the goals even if the strikers haven’t registered one so far.
“If you look at a team like Liverpool, (Roberto) Firmino doesn’t burn the blaze and need the scoring chance, we don’t care who scores the goals.” said Carnell, “As long as the goals come we are going to be fine. If Kyle Duncan scores the goals, it’s fine. I would be more concerned about us not creating chances, than which position or which player is or isn’t scoring goals.”
For Florian Valot, he has finally gotten some minutes and some games, but it hasn’t been consistent enough due to the lineup rotation. Yet he is ready for the challenge that is in front of him when DC United comes around on the schedule, in the last game Valot played in a central midfield role due to injuries from his teammates. Is that going to be a new position for him?
“It’s not my natural position, but I do enjoy it because you do see everything in front of you.” said Valot, “On the right side, you are always facing your own goal, because you have your back on the opposition’s goal. so it’s better that way.
“It’s nice to be an extra winger, but we are dealing with injuries right now, so I don’t mind helping out and giving my side some help anywhere I can. The mentality is good here so far,”
Right back Mandela Egbo has been developing with Crystal Palace of the Premier League, then moved to Germany with stints at Darmstadt and Borussia Monchengladbach, till he came over to MLS.
The Brent, England native has seen many derbies in his time back home like the London series between Arsenal and Tottenham, Liverpool & Everton, Manchester between City & United, what’s his on the oldest rivalry since the start of this league 25 years ago?
“Obviously it’s very strong. I have played in the New York City derby as well.” said Egbo, “Got a few derbys going on and obviously playing with those big teams in a minute, because of the pandemic. We all know that the emotions are going to be strong and it’s going to be a lot of fun to challenge.”
At the moment the hope is to get Samuel Tetteh some minutes in the next game, Carnell was happy to give Dru Yearwood some minutes in the last match against the Union, but good news to hear is that center back Aaron Long has progressed well at training with his hamstring injury, which means he could be ready for selection this Saturday night at Audi Field. Now it’s time for the Red Bulls to make the big attempt to return to the win column and to give Carnell his first victory as interim boss.
If they can beat Benny’s bunker ball, then it will be another victory at Audi Field against this D.C. United team that’s still underwhelming at this point of the season.