Mexico Day 12: Prepping for Merida

10 February 3:51 pm

Mexico Day 12: Prepping for Merida

By Frank Della Femina

Riviera Maya - The Red Bulls spent Friday's training session working on tactics and making necessary improvements in an effort to better prepare for Saturday's 3pm CT (4 ET) kick off against Mexican side Merida.

A lot of emphasis remains centered on the team's defense, which helped post a clean sheet in New York's 2-0 win over FC Dallas earlier this week. Defensive drills, 11v11 and a number of attack-defense exercises comprised Friday's session on the pitch in Mexico.

Coach Hans Backe admitted to not being entirely familiar with Merida, however he is well aware of the style of play the Red Bulls may see Saturday afternoon.

"I think like most of the Mexican teams, from what I've seen and known from before, they are possession-minded," Backe said. "They will get hold of the ball and will have a lot of possession. Of course when you play in this heat, it's so important to have possession because if you lose it or lose possession too quick you are in trouble."

The match against Merida, which is closed to the public, marks the second of three scheduled for the Red Bulls during this preseason trip through Mexico. The third and final match will take place Tues., Feb. 14, in Guadalajara when the team takes on Tecos at 7pm CT (8pm ET). Similar to the match against FC Dallas, we will provide live in-game Tweets throughout. Neither of the remaining matches are available as a live stream.

Here are a few photos from Friday's session: