We take a look at a few storylines ahead of Saturday's 7:00 PM kick off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Get tickets to the match at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
I’ve touched upon this subject over the last few What to Watch For installments, and frankly I’d be OK with continuing this trend for a few more weeks. New York’s current unbeaten streak stands at seven straight, as the Red Bulls have gone 5-0-2 since registering that first win over New England on Apr. 20. The opportunity to extend it to eight straight is a viable one, as the club will be anxious to close out the three-game home stand on a high note before taking a three-week break from MLS competition. Can they make it eight against Vancouver? Nothing’s guaranteed, but the momentum is in their corner.
The Big Man has had some strong outings over the last few matches for the Red Bulls, starting with his dominant defensive performance against the LA Galaxy and ending more recently with his stoppage-time heroics that allowed New York to salvage a point at home vs. the Crew. Of course, that’s not to say he hasn’t been a monster for the club since Day One of the season when he registered a goal in the season-opener against Portland. That much is solidified in the fact that his goal against Columbus marked his fourth of the season, a single-season best since he joined MLS in 2008. And there’s still plenty of season left to play…
Vancouver’s Goal Scorers
You won’t find any of Vancouver’s goal scorers in MLS’ Golden Boot race, but you won’t find the team nestled at the bottom of the standings either. Vancouver has the ability to spread the scoring out – meaning, pretty much anyone on the pitch at any point can find the back of the net. OK, maybe not “anyone,” as evidenced by the fact that nine of the club’s 14 goals have come from forwards; the other five courtesy of midfielders. But outside of Camilo Sanvezzo’s team-leading three goals, it’s hard to identify the next big threat. And that itself is the ultimate threat.
Who Will Be the First to Earn a Win?
There isn’t much of a storied history between these two clubs, seeing as how Vancouver just entered the league back in 2011. But in the history of matchups between the sides – two to be precise – neither one has walked away with more than a point. There was a 1-1 draw during that first season at Red Bull Arena, which was followed up in 2012 with – yes, another 1-1 draw. To compound the subject even more, Vancouver is coming off three-straight draws, including two from the Canadian Championship.