THE WEEKLY: Playoff race heats up as Red Bulls start important week against conference rivalry

Playoff race heats up as Red Bulls start important week

RED BULLS SET FOR SECOND OF THREE MEETINGS WITH SPORTING KANSAS CITY

After falling 2-0 to Eastern Conference leader D.C. United on Sunday, the New York Red Bulls look to bounce back and move back into a playoff spot when they host U.S. National Team standouts Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena. NBC Sports Network will televise the game nationally with kickoff set for 7:30 PM ET. Tickets are available for the match by calling 1.877.727.6223 or logging onto tickets.newyorkredbulls.com.

New York is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 7-8-10 record and 31 points while Sporting Kansas City sits in second place with a 12-8-6 record and 42 points. Saturday marks the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season.

The two clubs first met at Sporting Park on May 27 and played to a 1-1 draw. MLS Golden Boot leader Bradley Wright-Phillips scored New York's lone goal while Thierry Henry added the assist. The teams will meet once more this season, closing out regular-season play at Sporting Park on October 26.

MLS Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Club Record Points
  2. D.C. United 14-7-4 46 pts.
  3. Sporting Kansas City 12-8-6 42 pts.
  4. New England Revolution 10-12-3 33 pts.
  5. Toronto FC 9-9-6 33 pts.
  6. Columbus Crew 8-9-9 33 pts.
  7. New York Red Bulls 7-8-10 31 pts.
  8. Philadelphia Union 7-9-9 30 pts.
  9. Chicago Fire 5-6-14 29 pts.
  10. Houston Dynamo 8-13-4 28 pts.
  11. Montreal Impact 5-15-5 20 pts.

LAST WEEK

  • D.C. United 2, New York Red Bulls 0

THIS WEEK

  • Red Bulls vs. Sporting Kansas City at Red Bull Arena on September 6 at 7:30 PM (TV: NBCSN)

NEXT WEEK

  • Red Bulls vs. D.C. United at Red Bull Arena on September 10 at 8:00 PM (TV: ESPN2)
  • Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on September 13 at 3:00 PM (TV: NBCSN)

POINTS AT A PREMIUM AS BUSY SCHEDULE PICKS UP

The month of September will be a tough test for the Red Bulls, as the club is slated for seven contests across all competitions this month. New York will play five MLS regular-season matches with two CONCACAF Champions League games mixed in as well.

With seven teams from third place to ninth place in the Eastern Conference separated by just five points, points are at a premium more than ever.

New York Red Bulls September Schedule

  • September 6 MLS Sporting Kansas City
  • September 10 MLS D.C. United
  • September 13 MLS at Philadelphia Union
  • September 17 CCL at Montreal Impact
  • September 20 MLS Seattle Sounders
  • September 24 CCL at C.D. FAS
  • September 28 MLS at LA Galaxy

WRIGHT-PHILLIPS CLIMBING ALL-TIME, SINGLE-SEASON SCORING LIST

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored two goals against Montreal on August 23 at Red Bull Arena in a 4-2 win, including the eventual game winner. Wright-Phillips' 19th and 20th goals of the season moved him past Juan Pablo Angel on New York's single-season club scoring chart and made him the first player in franchise history to record a 20-goal season.

MLS GOLDEN BOOT RACE

  1. Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls) 20
  2. Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City) 17
  3. Erick Torres (Chivas USA) 14
  4. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 14
  5. Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) 12

The Englishman, who currently leads the MLS Golden Boot race, now has nine regular-season games remaining to break the MLS single-season record of 27 goals set by Roy Lassiter in 1996 and Chris Wondolowski in 2012.

MLS SINGLE-SEASON SCORING RECORDS

  • Roy Lassiter 27 (1996)
  • Chris Wondolowski 27 (2012)
  • Mamadou Diallo 26 (2000)
  • Stern John 26 (1998)
  • Carlos Ruiz 24 (2002)
  • Raul Diaz Arce 23 (1996)
  • Taylor Twellman 23 (2002)
  • Camilo Sanvezzo 22 (2013)
  • Mike Magee 21 (2013)
  • Eduardo Hurtado 21 (1996)
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips 20 (2014)
  • Landon Donovan 20 (2008)
  • Marco Di Vaio 20 (2013)
  • Luciano Emilio 20 (2007)

ROBLES SECOND IN MLS IN SAVES

Despite allowing two goals at D.C. United last Sunday, goalkeeper Luis Robles is second in the league in saves with 88. Robles made three stops in the nation's capital, including an early save on former Red Bull Fabian Espindola to keep his team level at 0-0 in just minutes into the match.

SAVES

  1. Jon Busch (SJ) 89
  2. Luis Robles (NY) 88
  3. Donovan Ricketts (POR) 85
  4. Bill Hamid (D.C.) 84
  5. Stefan Frei (SEA) 78

NEW YORK RED BULLS' 11 DAYS OF SERVICE CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF TUESDAY

The New York Red Bulls will hold their annual "11 Days of Service" in the month of September in conjunction with September 11 - the national day of service and remembrance. Red Bulls players, staff and fans will give back to the community via the different events as listed below.

  • (1) September 2nd - Ronald McDonald House: Members of the Red Bulls front office and team will meet the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City and serve dinner.
  • (2) September 6th - Special Olympics Unified Match - Special Olympics NJ will face on Special Olympics KS: Following the New York Red Bulls-Sporting Kansas City MLS regular season match, teams from Special Olympics New Jersey and Special Olympics Kansas will play on the pitch at Red Bull Arena. Fans attending the Red Bulls-Sporting KC match are able to stay and cheer on both teams.
  • (3) September 11th - Community FoodBank of NJ: Members of the Red Bulls front office and team will help assemble food boxes for seniors, put together inserts for the FoodBank's Kids' Back Pack program and work in the Tools 4 Schools Resource Center.
  • (4) September 15th - Covenant House BBQ: Members of the Red Bulls front office and team will serve dinner to the homeless youth that the Covenant House (located in Newark, NJ) serve.
  • (5) September 20th - Childhood Cancer Awareness Game: The Red Bulls will be drawing awareness to Childhood Cancer Month during their match against Seattle Sounders FC, recognizing local child cancer patients. In addition, players will wear yellow wristbands and ribbons during pre-game procession and in the match.
  • (6) September 20th - Food Drive with Community FoodBank of NJ: At the Red Bulls-Seattle Sounders FC MLS regular season match at Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls will host a food drive outside of the stadium's gates. Fans attending are encouraged to bring canned food items.
  • (7) September 24th - Clinic for special needs families with Red Bulls Training Programs: The Red Bulls Training Programs will host a soccer clinic in Central Park for special needs families.
  • (8) September 25th - NYC Service: Members of the Red Bulls front office and team will work with NYC Service to help rebuild homes in Brooklyn damaged in Hurricane Sandy. They will work with the local non-profit NYAC-UMCOR (New York Annual Conference - United Methodist Committee on Relief).
  • (9) September 29nd - Hackensack University Medical Center Visit: Members of the Red Bulls First Team will visit patients at Hackensack University Medical Center.
  • (10) September 30th - Hospital for Special Surgery Visit: Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty will visit with pediatric patients at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY.
  • (11) Event in conjunction with Autism Speaks (date TBC): The Red Bulls will be hosting an event with Autism Speaks to raise awareness about autism.