Naturally, head coach Hans Backe feels no pressure.
Backe revealed to reporters following Tuesday morning’s training session that he is not stressing over the Red Bulls needing a win inside of Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night in order to avoid elimination and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
He did not say whether it was because New York claimed a favorable 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium in the first leg or if it was due to the team’s strong home record this year. But Backe’s comments did not seem to be one of a coach on the verge of what may be his biggest game in three years.
“I feel no pressure to be honest. Not at all,” said Backe. “For us, we’re in the playoffs, we have home advantage now with this home game. These three years has told me you need to play up to our best every, every game.
“Definitely, it’s kind of all these result days when you are in the playoffs, it’s all about picking up the results. For me, it’s just another game.”
Backe went on to admit that he believes the current Red Bulls team is the most talented one he has had since joining the club in 2010. But he did not agree with the notions that the Red Bulls currently have the most talented team in the league or that they are the Eastern Conference favorites to reach the MLS Cup because of their large payroll.
“When you talk about payrolls and stuff like that, it is for three players, but three players doesn’t make a team. It is impossible,” said Backe. “You get the possibilities to get the good [Designated Players] in. But anyhow three players never make a team in football. Otherwise, we have the same salary cap as everyone.”
A topic that Backe did seem to agree with is DC United head coach Ben Olsen’s recent comments about the Red Bulls being a ‘beatable’ team. It is not that Backe lacks confidence in his Red Bulls, because he knows they can get the job done if they play up to their abilities.
Rather, he believes there are no unstoppable teams in MLS.
“If you look back six, seven weeks, they have done very, very well [but] every team in this league is beatable,” said Backe. “You just have to play up to your best and you can win this.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @FrancoPanizo