5 THINGS TO WATCH: New England
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his second goal in three days, his 10th goal in his previous seven games, but most importantly, the game’s equalizing goal of a 1-1 draw at Kansas City. That was the Red Bulls’ first point since a road victory over FC Dallas on May 4. New York will look to expand on that this Sunday after suffering three straight defeats. Kick-off from Gillette Stadium is slated for 5 PM and will be broadcast live on MSG+ with a 4:30 PM pre-game show.
1. Bradley Wright-Phillips’ Potentially Historic Season
The record for most goals scored in a single season in team history is 19, set by Juan Pablo Angel in 2007. Bradley Wright-Phillips is eight goals away from tying the former Red Bulls star and there are still 20 games to go in the campaign. Wright-Phillips, who has scored 11 goals over the first 14 games, including two hat tricks, is on pace to shatter that record. He has already matched Tim Cahill’s team-high 11 goals of last season and joins illustrious company of former players who have scored 11 or more goals in a season even before this season’s halfway mark.
2. Who else scores for RBNY?
Prior to the 2-0 loss in Toronto on May 17, the last time Bradley Wright-Phillips didn’t score for the Red Bulls was on April 16 when the Philadelphia Union came to Red Bull Arena. The Englishman has scored the team’s lone goals in their previous two games and has scored in six of the team’s previous seven, a stretch during which he has scored 10 total. Over that span, only Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry have chipped in a goal apiece. Both of those players will be missing this week against New England. Head Coach Mike Petke faces a tough squad selection dilemma this weekend but it will be very interesting to see the starting XI he goes with and just who will step up alongside the talismanic Wright-Phillips.
3. Replacing the Stars, Part 3
Tim Cahill and Roy Miller are going to Brazil and the World Cup, Dax McCarty has been ruled out with a knee injury, and Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave could be held out due to the turf field of Gillette Stadium. That opens up a lot of playing time for back-ups and young players. This selection headache should only last through the weekend as several of the aforementioned will return to the squad. Rookie right back Chris Duvall has seemingly solidified himself into the starting XI regardless and Ruben Bover made his first start of the 2014 season in Kansas City. Peguy Luyindula will be available but he is questionable to start. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. It will be very interesting to see what Coach Petke decides to do.
4. The Leaders in the East
The New England Revolution started this season with one point from their first three games and just one win over their first five. After their 2-0 road loss at D.C. United, the Revs rattled off seven games unbeaten including five straight wins. Over their five game win streak, the team scored 16 goals and conceded just five. Prior to last week’s 2-0 loss in Montreal, the Revolution was the hottest team in MLS. That run propelled them to first place in the East where they have stood alone for five straight weeks. New England feature a dynamic attack led by recent high-school graduate Diego Fagundez, MLS vet Lee Nguyen, and impressive rookie Patrick Mullins. That triumvirate helped put five goals past both Philadelphia and Seattle in recent weeks.
5. Last Chance to Watch Your Red Bulls!
After Sunday’s match, the Red Bulls will not have a MLS game until June 27 when Toronto visits Red Bull Arena (TICKETS). For Red Bulls fans, this is your last chance to watch the team in League play for almost three weeks.