Teemu Tainio Strikers Article

Red Bulls Ready for Strikers Challenge

Before leaving back to the Northeast Sunday, the Red Bulls will look for a positive result with their final match against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM (The match will be streamed live via www.newyorkredbulls.com).

More specifically, the Red Bulls will try to generate more scoring opportunities. While New York has done well to adapt head coach Hans Backe’s possession-style system, Backe said that the team must be more clinical in the final third.

“I would like to see that we take a little bit more chances in our attacking game,” Backe said. “The possession has been very good but we can’t end up only talking about possession.”

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Backe, who said he would field a similar lineup to the one that started against the Chicago Fire First Team on Wednesday, has been emphasizing to his players to get closer to goal.

“It’s more having the attitude making runs into the penalty box,” he said. “But we need more players, we need at least three players in the box for every cross. We’ve been a little bit hesitant and we need to be a bit braver when we get the crosses.”

Still, Backe is optimistic that the team is coming together with less than a month until the season opener against Seattle.

“We’re close. It’s only now the last third in the attacking game. I don’t think we need to be more creative, we just need to take more chances and not just talk about possession when we attack,” he said.

Tainio Enjoying Red Bulls Camp

Finnish International Teemu Tainio has been training with the Red Bulls for a couple of weeks and looks set to again play in Saturday’s match against Ft. Lauderdale. The 31-year-old said that he has enjoyed his time so far and is still working his way into game shape.

“I need a few games more, to be fair,” said Tainio, who said he is about 60-70 percent there. “You can run as much as you can but games give you the last step.”

Backe has praised the former Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax Amsterdam player for his versatility. Thus far, Tainio has played a right back. Despite his preference to play as a central midfielder, Tainio will go wherever the manager tells him.

“I don’t have any issues. I played a few games in the Premiership at right back and even left back. It’s all the same – there isn’t any issue where I play,” Tainio said. “I’m sort of an all-around player – I like to go attack and defend. I think that’s my main quality and what I like to do. I always try to keep possession.”

- The team had one session on the pitch Friday before a strength session in the afternoon.
- Backe said that he expects his Starting XI to play most, if not all, of the match.
- The match, which is open and free to the public, will be streamed live on www.newyorkredbulls.com. Steve Cangialosi and Mike Petke will be providing the commentary.