Let's take a closer look at some storylines ahead of Sunday's 1:00 PM clash at Red Bull Arena between the Red Bulls and Galaxy. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Henry/Cahill vs. Donovan/Keane
For the past few years it was all about Thierry Henry vs. David Beckham, but now that the English midfielder has moved on to Paris-St. Germain, and has recently announced he will hang them up after this season, there very well may be a new rivalry in town. Henry has played against Donovan and Keane a few times now, but this will be the first time Tim Cahill and Landon Donovan face off since Cahill joined the Red Bulls last summer. The four of these players will make for some exciting action on the pitch, and will ultimately establish the overall offensive tempo of the match.
At the time of his signing, Cahill talked briefly about discussions he had with Donovan and goalkeeper Tim Howard while playing in England; discussions that ultimately opened his eyes up a bit more to the experience in MLS. “It was pretty nice looking after Landon when he was at Everton and now we’re going to be playing against each other,” Cahill said during one of his first sit down interviews with NewYorkRedBUlls.com. “He knows what I’m all about.”
Red Bulls Head Coach Mike Petke suggested shutdown midfielder Dax McCarty will be available for selection come Sunday, but wasn’t entirely sure what his role would be and to what degree in which he would play. McCarty returned to the bench against the New England Revolution last weekend for the first time since injuring his quad in a training session. He last played in New York’s Apr. 20 match against the Revolution, scoring his second goal of the season in the club’s 4-1 win that his since sparked a five-game unbeaten streak.
Red Bulls Unbeaten Streak
Speaking of, New York will put that unbeaten streak to the test in Sunday’s match against an LA side that is coming off a 4-1 rout of the Philadelphia Union. Donovan had one goal and two assists in the match, while Robbie Keane also tallied a goal and an assist on the night. The win moved LA up into 17-point tie with Real Salt Lake for third place in the West and marked the club’s first win in the month of May.
The First of Three at Home
With Sunday’s match, New York enters its longest home stand of the season in the first of three scheduled at Red Bull Arena. Unbeaten streak aside, the opportunity is a tremendous one for the Red Bulls to potentially pick up nine big points at home in an effort to maintain their place atop the Eastern Conference. New York has not lost a regular season match to LA and Columbus at home since 2010, and has only tied Vancouver at home in the first meeting between the two sides in 2011. While teams certainly do change from year to year, statistically the odds would appear to be in New York’s favor during this upcoming home stand.