What to Watch For When the Red Bulls Face Toronto FC (Saturday, 7:00 PM, MSG)
Let's take a look at a few storylines leading up to Saturday's home match against Toronto FC. Join the fun at Red Bull Arena and get your tickets at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or call 877.RB.SOCCER!
The Red Bulls had a great offensive showing last weekend against the Dynamo thanks to a four-goal outing, something they’ve done three others times this year: Apr. 20 against New England, July 13 vs. Montreal and July 27 vs. Real Salt Lake. It’s a bit unrealistic to expect a team to produce that much offensively on a week-to-week basis, but there’s no denying it’s a welcome sight to see, especially in light of the club’s earlier scoring struggles in August. Scoring comes and goes throughout the season, but right now it’s here - and hopefully it’s here to stay for the remaining games, postseason included.
Spreading it Around
This kind of piggy backs the previous topic in that it’s centered on the team’s recent success on offense. With that said, it’s not only reassuring to see the Red Bulls finding the back of the net again, but it’s equally encouraging to see the goals are coming from all over the field. Over the last eight goals scored, trailing back to the 3-2 loss vs. Chivas USA on Aug. 25, six different players have accounted for the goals. Just check out the order of the last eight goals scored: Tim Cahill, Dax McCarty, Lloyd Sam, Tim Cahill, Eric Alexander, Thierry Henry, Jonny Steele, Lloyd Sam. While it’s nice to see Cahill and Sam double up, it’s also good to see the club isn’t relying on just one or two guys to get the job done. This is especially helpful when you consider the team’s ability to respond just this past weekend against Houston without the likes of Cahill in the lineup. In short, we’re looking at the definition of team play.
Take No Opponent Lightly
Simply put, Toronto FC is not postseason bound, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ready to spoil someone else’s party. What’s harder to go up against – a team fighting for a spot in the postseason, or a collective group of players gutting it out for a potential starting role next season? Hard to say really, but when you consider the Red Bulls defeated the playoff-hopeful Dynamo, yet fell to the basement-dwelling Chivas USA, it gets you thinking. On the positive side, New York has already defeated TFC once this season and recorded a draw that many players said felt like a loss on July 20, so here’s to hoping New York is ready to close out this series with three points at home.
With the rollercoaster ride that is the MLS regular season schedule, this is just about as close to a home stand as you can get; especially at this point in the season. Saturday’s match marks the first of two-straight at Red Bull Arena and only the third time this season the Red Bulls have been able to stay in town for more than one match. The first instance came during the Apr. 17 and Apr. 20 home stand against Sporting KC and New England, respectively, and the second from May 19 to June 1 when New York hosted LA, Columbus and Vancouver. FC Dallas come to town the following weekend for the first and only matchup of the regular season, before the Red Bulls head out west to Seattle on Sept. 29.