Following the MLS is Back Tournament, the New York Red Bulls will return to Red Bull Arena and host New York City FC, in another edition of the New York Derby. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Here are the Keys to the Game, presented by Honda:
Regain Offensive Momentum
Heading into Thursday night’s Derby, the Red Bulls are riding on a two-game losing streak. The Red Bulls only scored one goal in the MLS is Back Tournament and are in need of regaining confidence in front of goal.
Fortunately, in their only game so far at Red Bull Arena in 2020, they put three goals past FC Cincinnati.
Regaining that offensive momentum to start off this next string of six games will be vital as New York look to once again regain a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings, as they’re only two points off second-place Toronto.
Make Home-Field Advantage Felt
Returning home should be seen as a massive boost for the Red Bulls. When combining all RBNY and NYRBII regular season results at Red Bull Arena since 2010, the numbers suggest that RBA is a fortress, with 127 wins, 36 losses and 43 draws.
The last New York Derby that took place at RBA finished with a 2-1 victory for our team. Danny Royer got a brace, and Cristian Cásseres Jr. grabbed an assist in Royer’s winning goal in the 60th minute.
In the nine editions of the New York Derby held at RBA, RBNY have won seven, lost and drew once.
Keep Maxi Moralez on Lockdown
There’s a statistic that grabs attention right away when checking out Maxi Moralez’s numbers -- 36 assists over the past two seasons.
The Argentine midfielder grabbed an assist and goal in the 3-1 win over Toronto FC in the MLS is Back Tournament Round of Sixteen. He still hasn’t recorded an assist in the regular season, where NYCFC still holds a negative record with one win and four losses.
Although NYCFC defeated Toronto 3-1, they ended up losing by the same scoreline against Portland Timbers in the quarterfinals.
Nevertheless, Moralez’s offensive contributions will be needed if his team aspires to get something positive out of their game against the Red Bulls.