Fresh off a three-point victory at Red Bull Arena in a 4-1 finish against the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls are back in action Saturday when they take on Toronto FC (Watch live on MSG, 1:30 PM pre-game/2:00 PM kick off).
New York’s offense put in its biggest performance of the season Saturday in that four-goal outing, tying the Red Bulls with FC Dallas in Goals For with 13. Head Coach Mike Petke liked what he saw from his club, and is hoping to see another three-point finish in Toronto.
“We have a deep team,” Petke said after Thursday’s training session at Montclair State University. “Right now the issue is the inexperience of some of the depth that we have, but the quality is there.”
Toronto FC Preview
Defensively the Red Bulls allowed only one goal – an own-goal at that – but shoring up the back line is certainly part of New York’s game plan. To date, the Red Bulls are tied with the Chicago Fire for last place in the league in Goals Allowed with 12.
“Any given day, any team in this league can win,” Petke said. “That’s the beauty and the beast of MLS. So like I was saying the last couple of weeks, if we do go up a goal we have to manage the game properly to hold onto that. If we’re down a goal, the coaching staff has to make the right moves to put the pieces together to chase that goal and get it.”
Toronto, fresh off a 2-0 Canadian Championship semifinal win over Montreal Wednesday night, is coming off a string of four-straight draws. The Canadian side is currently ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference off a total of seven points.
Ryan Nelsen, head coach of Toronto, is no stranger to Petke. The two are not only friends and former teammates at D.C. United, but both find themselves holding down the title of rookie manager as well.
“I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago, had a couple of laughs about how different it is then we expected it to be, how crazy it is,” said Petke. “He’s done great with the team. Coming from last year the way the team was, they’ve dramatically improved in such a short amount of time and a lot of credit goes for Ryan.”
The Red Bulls take on Toronto FC Saturday on MSG, starting with the 1:30 PM pre-game show. The following week, on May 4, the Red Bulls head to Columbus for a 4:00 PM kick off against the Crew, airing live on NBC Sports.
New York returns home on Wednesday, May 8, to host the Montreal Impact for a 7:30 PM start. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.