The New York Red Bulls know they're welcoming a hungry Chicago Fire team to Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
“I think they're a team that needs a result," Head Coach Jesse Marsch said following training this week. "We know that it is a quality team, that it will be personal with them after knocking them out of the playoffs [in 2017], so we have to be fully prepared for a really tough match."
Chicago comes in with a 1-3-1 record (4 pts.), while the Red Bulls are 3-2-0 (9 pts), with all their wins coming at home.
"Keeping track of [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and Dax [McCarty] will be important, and also [Nemanja] Nikolic, because he is a great goal scorer and he is really clever with how he moves along the lines," Marsch said. "So, we will develop a game plan for the match, but for sure we know that it will be a tough game.”
McCarty's work with the Fire could be supplemented by an intimate knowledge of how New York plays.
“Yeah, it will be an interesting one," Tyler Adams said. "We know that anytime that a team comes to Red Bull Arena they are going to put up a good challenge for us. Obviously, with Dax there now, they have some insight into what we do, but our game plan won't change. We will go into the game with the same mindset and try and go out there and score goals as always.”
The Red Bulls will look to keep their undefeated ways going at home.
"It is awesome the record that we have at home," Michael Amir Murillo said through a translator. "I think it will be a difficult game since they will come out to get a result, but we have to work for it."
Murillo has experience against Chicago, but a newcomer like Kaku has taken to his teammates to learn as much as he can about the incoming Fire team.
"Yeah, I talked a little bit with the other guys that have played against them and they have a good team," Kaku said through a translator. "We are in a good form and we want to keep that going at our house."
And Kaku has high hopes for keeping that undefeated run going, against Chicago and beyond.
"We know that we have to keep working to keep the undefeated record at home, because every game is different and hard and hopefully we keep it up until the end of the season," Kaku said.
The Red Bulls and Fire kick off at 3:30 p.m. on April 21 for New York's annual Autism Awareness match. $3 from every ticket purchased here is donated to Autism Speaks, and fans will receive an Autism Awareness scarf. Select tickets are also available from Ticketmaster (no donation or scarf included with purchase from TM).