What to Watch for When the Red Bulls Face the New England Revolution (Saturday, 7pm, MSG)
Let's take a look ahead at a few storylines ahead of Saturday’s action when the Red Bulls welcome the rival New England Revolution for a 7:00 pm showdown (buy tickets). Watch live on MSG, or follow updates and video clips throughout via our Twitter feed .
Chance to Clinch
New England’s second trip to Red Bull Arena this season gives New York the chance to get rid of the elephant in the room: Clinching a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. With a win or a tie against the Revs, the Red Bulls would guarantee themselves a ticket to the postseason, but even with a loss they have shot at clinching provided that the Chicago Fire lose or tie their game against D.C. United on Friday AND the Philadelphia Union win their Saturday duel with Toronto FC. A win also gives RBNY a chance to guarantee themselves a bye in the first round of the competition, provided the Houston Dynamo lose or tie their match against the Montreal Impact on Friday.
After missing the team’s trip to Seattle, Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry should be returning to the squad to face New England, giving an immediate boost to the Red Bulls’ attack. Henry has scored a goal in each of his three career home games against the Revolution, and has scored two goals over his last three starts for New York.
Hammer vs. Anvil
The Red Bulls’ defense held firm in September, allowing just one goal in the run of play through four games, and will likely welcome back centerback Jamison Olave.
On the other side, the Revolution have hit their stride on offense, even if the results haven’t shown it. In their seven games since a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on August 10, New England haven’t been shut out, scoring at least two goals in all but two contests. In addition to goalscoring threats like Saër Sène and wunderkind Diego Fagundez, the Revs will likely also welcome back former Red Bull Juan Agudelo, who has struggled with a hamstring injury in recent weeks.
With 52 points, New York currently sit atop the table in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, but they can’t let up now. The Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake all hover within three points of the Red Bulls. Portland holds a game in hand, while Seattle holds two. The race is on.