What to Watch For When the Red Bulls Face the New England Revolution (Saturday, 7:30 PM, MSG)
Take a look at a few storylines ahead of Saturday’s 7:30 PM match against the New England Revolution (Watch live on MSG, starting with the 7:00 PM pre-game show). You can of course also join us and fellow Red Bulls fans at one of two great viewing parties. More info up on our Pub Partners page.
Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact extended the Red Bulls’ win streak to four straight, one short of last season’s franchise-best five-game streak. Now New York takes that run into Gillette Stadium Saturday when they take on the New England Revolution. The Red Bulls may have found tremendous success against the Revs on Apr. 20 in a 4-1 win, but it’s going to take a much bigger effort now that they’re heading up I-95 this weekend. New York have not exactly faired all that well playing away against New England in recent years, with the last franchise win coming in the form of a 2-0 victory back in 2002.
Last Season in New England
Oh, but they were close. So very close. After dropping a 2-0 decision in New England on July 8, the Red Bulls had a second chance to close out the Revs on the road. During a September 22 meeting in Foxborough, New York came within minutes of defeating the Revs in stoppage time, after former Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere sent one into the back of the goal in the 91st minute to give his side a 1-0 lead. Given the timing of the goal, and after 90-plus minutes of scoreless soccer, it seemed like the tally would be enough for New York to snap the streak. But in the 95th minute, New England’s Darrius Barnes spoiled the party when he sent home the equalizer to draw level and send New York packing with just one point. You can bet Head Coach Mike Petke hasn’t forgotten that one, as the Red Bulls will look to reverse their fortunes on the road this weekend.
Team Defense on Both Sides of the Ball
The Red Bulls defense has done a good job of shutting down the opposition over the past few matches, allowing only four goals over the past six meetings (three if you don’t include the unfortunate own goal against New England). It’s a significant improvement from the struggles that faced the team earlier in the season, and a sure sign that the club is continuing to learn from its mistakes. New England continues to struggle offensively, ranked 18th overall in Goals For with five. Aside from the 4-1, Apr. 20 loss to the Red Bulls, the club continues to be one of the stingiest in the league with only eight Goals Against (tied for second best in MLS).
It’s hard to say what the Red Bulls’ lineup will look like this weekend, but that’s a clear indication of the team’s growing depth and healthy options for Mike Petke to play with. Petke hinted earlier in the week leading up to Wednesday’s match against Montreal that he might consider the idea of resting up a few options ahead of the busy schedule that included a short rest period between matches. Only he knows for sure what the Starting XI will look like, which we’ll promptly share on Twitter one hour before kick off.