Let's take a closer look at few storylines ahead of Saturday's 2:00 PM match between the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC (watch live on MSG):
Can the offense keep it going?
New England entered last weekend’s match against the Red Bulls as one of the league’s stingiest defenses, allowing only three goals over the first five games. In one of their best outings of the season, New York potted four into the netting against the Revs, placing the club in a first-place tie with FC Dallas for goals scored with 13. As the team heads up to Toronto, is it possible New York can keep its foot on the accelerator with another strong offensive performance?
Continued production from the wings?
Eric Alexander and Jonny Steele were flying for the Red Bulls in the New England match, and it showed on the score sheet. Alexander finished the night off with an assist on Steele’s first goal as a Red Bull, while Steele also tallied an assist on top of that when he led Thierry Henry in on goal for New York’s third of the match. A pacey midfield will help dictate the speed of the game. It’ll be up to Alexander and Steele to do that again, while also maintaining the presence of mind to not fall out of position defensively while pressuring on the other end of the ball.
Can the defense limit chances from Robert Earnshaw?
Forward Robert Earnshaw has scored five of Toronto’s nine goals this season, good enough to tie him with LA's Mike Magee for second overall in the MLS Golden Boot race. Sure, it’s still too early in the season to name someone a lock for the title, but Earnshaw is definitely a legitimate contender and not someone the Red Bulls are going to take lightly this weekend.
Can the Red Bulls extend their streak against Toronto?
The Red Bulls are 5-0-2 against Toronto over the last seven matches, and maintain an 8-4-3 overall record against Toronto, 2-3-3 when at BMO Field. In the last meeting between the two sides, the Red Bulls defeated Toronto 4-1 at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 29, 2012 on a night when Thierry Henry racked up a one-goal, three-assist performance. During the club’s last trip to BMO Field, New York salvaged a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against TFC.