Red Bulls Prepared to Battle for Three on the Fourth (Thursday, 9:30 PM, MSG)

The Red Bulls visit the Rapids for a Fourth of July showdown on MSG Thursday night

Following Sunday’s three-point performance against the Houston Dynamo, you can bet the New York Red Bulls are looking to get back out on the pitch with hopes of riding high on the momentum. Luckily for the club, they won’t have to wait long.

The Red Bulls are back in action Thursday when the club heads out west to take on the Colorado Rapids in a Fourth of July matchup at 9:30 PM on MSG. The quick turnaround between matches, combined with travel, doesn’t have the players relaxing one bit.

Midfielder Tim Cahill, who returned to action with the Red Bulls in Sunday’s win, knows all about what it takes to stay in top shape in the little down time that is allotted.

 “It’s just preparation. Rehab, get yourself on the treatment table, work hard,” Cahill said after this past weekend’s win. “I’ve done it the whole week since coming back from Australia. You know, the body still feels a bit weak, but the main thing is you go and you go again. These players are good pros, exceptional, and we’ve got good people to look after us.”

New York takes on a Rapids side that currently sits sixth overall in the Western Conference off a 23-point, 6-7-5 record. Minus a 4-3 win over the Montreal Impact this past Saturday, June was a tough month for the Rapids, who posted a 1-3-1 record in regular season play. Nevertheless, the Red Bulls know what Colorado is capable of.

“Colorado, we haven’t done very well there,” Dax McCarty admitted in his postgame comments Sunday evening. “So we need to go in there with the mindset we had [Sunday night], which was to match Houston’s intensity. They’re always a team that battles really hard and we just had to match their intensity, and then our quality players and our skill and our talent shined through...”

Since the 2007 inception of Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, New York has historically struggled a bit on the road against the Rapids, posting a 1-3-1 record over the past five seasons. This year, the club will look to turn that misfortune around and snag a result Thursday night.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke played with the Rapids for four seasons, so he knows a thing or two about what it's like to play in front of the home crowd in Commerce City.

“It’s a tough place to play,” Petke said after Tuesday's trianing session. “They always get a sell-out crowd on the Fourth of July. Pumps it up, pumps the players up for whatever reason, but we’re looking to change that obviously for Thursday.”

The Red Bulls and Rapids kick off Thursday at 9:30 PM on MSG. Catch all the action live, starting with the 9:00 PM pre-game show, following the 8:30 PM broadcast of “Halls of Fame #7: Thierry Henry.”

The club returns home to Red Bull Arena on Saturday, July 13, for a 7:00 PM match against the Montreal Impact. Get tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.