The New York Red Bulls have moved on from their much-needed victory on the road at their rivals in D.C. United, but now they must continue to add towards that positive momentum Saturday night when they face FC Cincinnati at Red Bull Arena.
Strangely given the abridged pandemic schedule, it will be the third time the two teams have clashed in 2020. But it will be only the second time they have faced the team under the management of legendary Dutch former player Jaap Stam, who gave RBNY an extremely hard time in earning a 2-0 victory in the final game of the group stage at the MLS is Back Tournament.
“He’s done an amazing job. When you look t the team where they were at the MLS is Back Tournament and to where they are now, they are competing in a very good way.” said Bradley Carnell, “They progressed in a very good way, they are playing more dangerous, they are a team that likes to sit back to absorb the pressure. Even in the game against New York City they must’ve felt hard done because they didn’t get the result.
“For us we know that ever point has to be earned and to get three points would be much more sweet. We are approaching this game in a very serious manner, just because we won the last three points, doesn’t mean we are entitled to the next three points.
So everyday is always a reset and building on a clean state with the improvements we've shown so we can show it on the next match, especially against a touch Cincy team that we know has improved.”
The Red Bulls backline improved under Carnell when he added Sean Nealis to the backline to make a three-man central defense. Is this a new wrinkle for Aaron Long as he and Tim Parker have more help with the second-year defender?
“It was a good switch up, we went to five in the back not sure if we are going to do that again. I think that against a team like DC they play five in the back, but usually they would do it, yet they threw us a curveball and went on a regular attack” said Long, “But we are looking for revenge against FC Cincinnati with the way we lost against them at the tournament.
“We felt like we had a lot of that game under control, we had the ball a lot but couldn’t find a way to break them down. Tactically they were very good in that game, bunkered in and countered against us, we weren’t happy about that game, so we need to do better.”
Danny Royer hasn’t finally converted at Audi Field last weekend after a brutal scoring drought. How did he feel about finally getting on the scoresheet, and what was it playing with the new guys like Dru Yearwood.
“In general it’s always good to help the team by scoring a goal, I think it gave us a little more cushion with the game and there really isn’t much more into that.” said Royer, “ The first game was positive, but not perfect. Yet in Orlando it wasn’t the performance that we wanted and it was disappointing.
“They parked the bus and it worked for them. Hopefully we that won’t happen again, but we are expecting them to do the same things like the last time. Park the bus and get chances on the counter.
Playing with Dru (Yearwood) is still a bit too early to judge, it’s only been a few weeks, but so far the progression has been good with a new player coming in. He’s been very physical, and very quick. But he needs more time to get it all down when you come to a new side.”
Injuries for the Red Bulls include goalkeeper Ryan Meara in absence due to a hip flexor that forced his substitution against DC. Squad captain Sean Davis is progressing nicely with knee concerns, but will also remain out with an injury. For those wondering about new signing Samuel Tetteh, who has yet to make an appearance, he is progressing in training and could find his name on the team sheet tonight.