What to Watch For When the Red Bulls Face FC Dallas (Sunday, 5:00 PM, MSG)
Take a quick look at a few storylines ahead of Sunday's match against FC Dallas. Get tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER. All fans in attendance will receive a free T-shirt, courtesy of our friends at Prudential.
We’re Going Streaking
We’re looking at three-straight wins for the Red Bulls – excuse me, your first place Red Bulls – as the club prepares for Sunday’s one and only regular season match against FC Dallas. Point streaks aside, there is only one other instance this season where the Red Bulls have pieced together a three-game-or-more win streak: Apr. 20 through May 8, a four-gamer that extended into a seven-game point streak before all was said and done. A win Sunday would help the Red Bulls match the season’s best streak before they prepare to head out west for a September 29th showdown against the Seattle Sounders.
Who’s In, Who’s Out?
Injuries may have played a bigger factor a few weeks ago, but now the health status of the club is the sort of situation any coach would be happy to deal with – with healthy players returning, who’s in, and who’s out? While it’s obvious Mike Petke won’t reveal his Starting XI until the day of the match, it’s encouraging to see that a healthy Brandon Barklage may be available for selection, along with the likes of Lloyd Sam and perhaps even Tim Cahill. With the postseason looming, now’s as good a time as any to get some injured players back on the pitch, even if only in a part-time capacity.
Dallas Driven for Postseason Spot
FC Dallas enters Sunday’s match sitting just outside the playoff bubble in the Western Conference. The club’s 10-8-10 record has them holding down a 40-point total, which keeps them just three points off the fifth place bid behind the Portland Timbers. Fresh off a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids, you can bet Dallas will be looking to answer back right away for fear of losing out on big points at this point in the season. It’ll be up to the Red Bulls to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Keep on Scoring
Two goals against Toronto. Four against Houston. Two against D.C. The goals are flowing for the Red Bulls right now, as the team’s 46 Goals For has them in a first place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Impact (and second in the league behind only Real Salt Lake). We mentioned last week that the goals are coming from all over. In last weekend’s win against Toronto FC, Fabian Espindola put himself into the goal-scoring mix as well. The depth on this team finds way to step up, and it’ll be interesting to see if someone else scores their way into the conversation by the time we get around to next week's What to Watch For.