The New York Red Bulls will take the field at Red Bull Arena this Saturday to host Sporting Kansas City, in what will be their MLS 2021 debut. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m.
Here are the Keys to the Game, presented by TriHonda Dealers:
Start Strong at RBA
Of the Red Bulls’ first seven MLS regular season games, four of them will be at Red Bull Arena. RBNY will host Sporting, Chicago, Toronto and Orlando City.
Starting strong in front of their fanbase could propel the Red Bulls to a great start to the 2021 season.
“Having the South Ward, even in lower capacity, is still a game-changer for us,” said Davis after Saturday’s friendly against D.C. United. "It’s going to be exciting being back with them at the start of the season.”
New York’s home record last season was 5-4-1.
Finding Right Combination of Youth and Experience
Head Coach Gerhard Struber has assembled a roster that includes youth and experience.
Experienced players like Aaron Long, Sean Davis, Danny Royer and Florian Valot will be of great help to the youngsters climbing up the ranks.
“Flo’s a top player in the team as well, so I’m just trying to pick his brain a little bit and ask questions that I can add to my game,” said Caden Clark during the preseason stage in Florida. “He has a really good skill-set, and I’m just trying to learn off of what he does. I watch him in training, he plays somewhat the same position, so I just try to mimic him a little bit and just pick up little things to add to my game. Having those talks and having the preseason when we’re all together is really important.”
The 17-year-old Clark scored two regular season goals and one goal in the playoffs against the eventual MLS Cup champions, Columbus Crew SC.
This season the contributions from both the youth and experienced players will be fundamental as Struber builds the team’s identity.
Alan Pulido Entering Second Season after Netting Six Goals Last Season
Sporting Kansas City’s Mexican striker Alan Pulido is entering his second season in MLS. The Mexican National Team recently called him up for its friendlies against Wales and Costa Rica in Europe, but Pulido couldn’t participate due to a minor knock.
Pulido will hope to start the season strong as he will be looking to receive an El Tri call-up this summer and participate in the Nations League and/or Gold Cup.
Pulido scored six goals and grabbed five assists last season.