Every match is do-or-die now for the New York Red Bulls. But they’re used to that.
After dropping the first match of the Best-of-3 Round 1 vs. FC Cincinnati, New York will return hope looking to win and extend the match back to Ohio.
“We know what’s on the line,” Peter Stroud said. “It’s a World Cup Final for us on Saturday, but we’ve been in these kinds of situations before. I feel like the whole back half of the season it was either win or go home. I think the boys showed they can handle it. It's about demonstrating that again when the time comes on Saturday.”
RBNY fell, 3-0, to FCC on Sunday night and will have all week to prepare for their home match on November 4 at Red Bull Arena.
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“Everyone is optimistic in the locker room,” Head Coach Troy Lesesne said. “We have to win two matches to be able to progress [to the next] round, and nothing changes, really, other than Cincinnati has a little bit more of an advantage.”
The Red Bulls now have a win-or-go-home scenario every match from here on out. Knowing this will be the last match at Red Bull Arena for the season, no matter what, Lesesne said he’s hoping the fans will rally behind the squad.
“We know what the circumstances are of us being down a game,” Lesesne said. “We need our supporters, we need our fans this weekend. Every single one of them that can show up and push us is something that is going to energize us. And if there's one thing we've learned about this group -- this team, this year -- it's a team that you want to support, you absolutely want to support this group, because we never stop fighting."
With a win on November 4, the Best-of-3 Round 1 series will shift back to Cincinnati for a crucial third match, with the winner moving on to the Conference Semifinals.
“Every player that I look at in that locker room right now, you can see that they're down about the result tonight, that's for sure. But they understand and believe that we can go and get the job done next weekend to push a game three,” Lesesne said. “We need our supporters there to support this group in the best way possible. I'm expecting a really electric atmosphere at Red Bull Arena next Saturday.”