New York will look to extend its unbeaten streak to seven straight this weekend when the club hosts the Columbus Crew Sunday at 5:00 PM on MSG/UniMas. The match marks the Red Bulls’ second of three straight at Red Bull Arena, as the club hopes to add some more points to its current hold on first place in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 24 point, 7-4-3 record.
Earlier this month the Red Bulls and Crew met at Crew Stadium in what amounted to a three-point victory courtesy of a decisive, heroic effort from Tim Cahill in the 80th minute. The 1-0 win not only dealt Columbus its first loss on home field, but also helped New York secure its third straight win – one made possible in part by Luis Robles’ perfectly-timed save on Federico Higuain in the 72nd minute.
“They really gave us a tough match up,” said the Red Bulls' goalkeeper. “Just the way the boys played for 90 minute was fantastic, so a couple of things went our way, we got a couple of breaks and we were able to get out of there with a 1-0 victory.”
Many coaches and players have said this before, but it couldn’t hurt to reiterate here: Any team can win on any given day in Major League Soccer. Even though the Crew will be coming to town with a banged-up back line that will forcibly have a different cast of players, there’s no guarantees on either side of the pitch.
“Columbus is a good team,” said Robles. “They’re solid defensively and they got some good playmakers. Higuain, and I’m not sure if [Jairo] Arrieta is playing, but they definitely got some good players. So it does help that a couple of weeks ago we did play them, so we have seen what they have to offer, but we’re not taking them lightly by any means. We just want to continue to build on what we’ve done in the last six games.”
Since the May 4 victory at Crew Stadium, the Red Bulls have picked up seven points off wins over Montreal and LA and a draw at New England. The club has also shown signs of tightening up defensively, indicated by the four goals allowed over the six-game run.
The Red Bulls and Crew kick off from Red Bull Arena this Sunday at 5:00 PM. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central or call 877.RB.SOCCER to cheer on the Red Bulls in person, or watch all the action live on MSG, starting with the 4:30 PM pre-game show.