What to Watch For When the Red Bulls Face Chivas USA (Sunday, 5:00 PM, MSG)
We take a closer look at a few storylines leading up to Sunday's 5 PM match against Chivas USA. Watch all the action live on MSG, starting with the 4:30 PM pre-game show.
Getting on the Board
The Red Bulls have witnessed a rough go as of late in the scoring department following two straight shutouts against the Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union, respectively. There’s no denying that the team is capable of getting a few on the board though, as indicated by the club's 36 Goals For. Oddly enough, that places New York in a four-way tie with Sporting KC, Philly and Montreal in the Goals Scored area. Going up against Chivas USA, the Red Bulls will be taking on one of the leakiest defenses in the league, as the Western Conference side is tied with D.C. United for Most Goals Allowed with 40. You have to think New York gets back on the board again this weekend.
A Point or More
A win is ideal on any given night, but a draw is obviously the only other outcome outside of a ‘W’ that the Red Bulls want to see this time of the year. Given the tight-knit playoff race in the Eastern Conference, no team in the top can afford to drop points, especially in those instances where they're playing against a conference opponent. Although the Red Bulls are currently tied with Sporting KC for first in the East off a 39 point total, Montreal and Philadelphia are similarly tied right behind them with 38. Tack on Houston’s 36 point total at the No. 5 spot in the conference and suddenly first and fifth are separated by just three points. Wow.
Stomping Out the Injury Bug
The return of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill for this past weekend’s match against Philadelphia was certainly a welcome sign, but unfortunately a quad injury suffered by Jamison Olave will keep him out of the lineup against Chivas USA. The hulking center back, who has proved to be a huge part of the club's back line, was forced to leave the match in the 76th minute of Saturday’s match with an apparent quad injury. Olave underwent an MRI shortly after and was diagnosed with a mild tear.
Rare West Coast Trip
Since opening up the season against the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes, the Red Bulls have more or less been spared the long flight cross country to take on inter-conference opponents (July 4 vs. Colorado would be the one exception). The team has since improved its way into a tie for first in the East since that 0-1-1 start, all while picking up wins against the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at home for 2-3-1 record against teams out West (the other loss coming against Vancouver on June 1). All-time, the club is 4-5-6 against Chivas and has not picked up a win since June 5, 2010 at Red Bull Arena. New York is 1-2-4 all-time against Chivas USA on the road, with the lone win coming on Oct. 16, 2005.