High five: Red Bulls set for Seattle

Robinson, Coundoul key as New York faces Sounders

New York comes into Saturday’s game
against Seattle in search of their first back-to-back win since August
of last year. Thanks to their league opener on Saturday—a 1-0 victory
over Chicago—the Red Bulls head onto the road with some confidence,
which is perhaps a new feeling for this team. Last year, New York did
not win a single road game and mustered just two ties as a visitor.

Here are five things to watch for when the Red Bulls kick off their
road campaign on Saturday.

1. Carl Robinson to
It was clear from practice this week that the midfielder
expects to be healthy and back on the field against Seattle. After
missing the season opener against Chicago, Robinson should be in the
starting 11 Saturday night. The expected recovery for this type of knee
injury is 7-10 days, and Robinson said that last Saturday "came a little
early" in the healing process. He may not be ready to play a full 90,
but Seth Stammler is back in the mix as well and could be a second-half
sub for Robinsion.

2. Maintaining shape: Despite
Chicago holding much of the run of play last week in the second half,
the New York defense held firm. Midfielder Danleigh Borman credited the
defensive scheme and the team playing a compact style. New York is going
to be willing to concede space out wide and force teams to beat them
with crosses and going over the top.

3. Coundoul
it again?:
There is no denying that goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul
is among the most athletic and talented goalkeepers in the league, but
consistency has always been a struggle for him. Following two solid
displays in as many weekends, Coundoul will need to play big against a
Seattle offense that last year scored more than double the number of
goals at Qwest Field as their opponents.

4. The
Freddie factor:
Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is still
recovering from a knee to his back in last Thursday’s win over
Philadelphia and is questionable for the game. Though he is doing some
light training, the pain has not substantially subsided for the former
EPL midfielder. New York head coach Hans Backe praised Seattle’s Osvaldo
Alonso for running the Seattle midfield and also lauded the play of
Steve Zakuani on the wing, so don’t expect New York to disrespect a
Ljunberg-less midfield.

5. Going for the win: Last
year, New York got manhandled in Seattle and looked like a team in
disarray. Backe vowed that this team will stick to their game plan and
seek three points on their first roadtrip of the season. Last year the
team scored just three goals and conceded 27 on the road. “We’re a
different team than last year,” forward John Wolyniec said.