The New York Red Bulls take a two-game win streak into Columbus this weekend when they face the Crew Saturday afternoon for a 4:00 PM kick off on NBC Sports.
Columbus, currently placed fifth overall in the Eastern Conference off a 3-2-3 record, has yet to forfeit a point at Crew Stadium thanks to a 1-0-2 home record. The Red Bulls will look to crack that goose egg in the loss column with a strong performance this weekend.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. Columbus is always a very tough opponent in Columbus,” said Red Bulls Head Coach Mike Petke. “Hard working, high pressing, with a lot of quality. So we just have to go in with A, first and foremost, the same mentality we’ve gone with in the last two road games in Toronto and D.C., which is a solid defensive block. And we have to do a bit of a better job of possessing the ball.”
New York has claimed two-straight W’s thanks to performances against New England and Toronto, but will look to extend that streak to three in anticipation of the club’s return to Red Bull Arena when they host the Montreal Impact on May 8.
In addition to New York’s hopes on extending the current streak, the Red Bulls will also aim to produce a third-straight road result. The three points gained in Toronto marked the second consecutive road match in which the club has walked away with a positive result. The previous one came on Apr. 13, when the Red Bulls earned their first road win of the season in a 2-0 shutout victory.
A strong front from Columbus will look to halt the Red Bulls’ run and maintain its current streak while playing at Crew Stadium. Petke is well aware of the challenges that await New York this weekend.
“[Federico] Higuain is quality. He’s dangerous. [Dominic] Oduro has blazing speed, and if we don’t hold a tight line he’s going to make us pay with his runs,” Petke said. “Aside from that, Eddie Gaven – there’s quality all over the field to be honest with you. But it’s their organization, their commitment, that is something that is dangerous and you have to be weary of.”
On the player personnel side, New York will be without midfielder Dax McCarty for the second consecutive match due to a slight quad tear, while fellow midfielder Juninho returns for the first time since Apr. 17 against Sporting KC after serving a two-game suspension.
Watch all the action from Crew Stadium live this Saturday on NBC Sports when the two sides kick off at 4:00 PM. You can also come out to the official Red Bulls Viewing Party at Catas in Newark for your chance to win prizes, take advantage of great specials, and cheer on the team alongside fellow fans. More info is available on that and future viewing parties on our Pub Partners page.