New York Red Bulls Preparing For Anything, Everything vs. Chivas

SCCL 2018 Luis Robles

The New York Red Bulls are confident heading into Leg 2. 

Despite trailing C.D. Guadalajara 1-0 after one leg of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Semifinal, New York is excited to welcome Chvias to their home arena.

"I think we learned, first-hand, how good Chivas is, how difficult of a place it is to play there," Head Coach Jesse Marsch said. "We didn’t give much away, they didn’t give much away, it was a very close match, about exactly what we expected. Combative at times. Now we know, coming back here, even though we’re down a goal, we’re confident in the way we play at Red Bull Arena, and we’re going to have to find a way to create more chances, be more aggressive, but do it in a way where we’re not leaving ourselves exposed. That’s a big challenge on the day, but one that we’re excited for, and for sure a second leg that I think there’s major anticipation for within our team, and major readiness to go after it."

The two clubs kick off at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET.

"I think, right now, looking at the past result and going into the next leg, there are certain things that we are going to have to make adjustments on, but we also feel very good about our position," Captain Luis Robles said following training.

The Red Bulls will be without Alex Muyl and Aurelien Collin on Tuesday night, due to yellow card accumulation. Chivas will be missing their captain and center back Jair Pereira following a disciplinary decision by Concacaf due to an incident in Leg 1.

"We feel confident about the personnel we have in our locker room. No matter the task, no matter the opponent, we feel like we can take care of business," Robles said. "By us just conceding the one goal down in Mexico it at least puts us in a decent position. Nonetheless, we are behind, so we know that it is going to be a game that requires us to be very offensive while not giving up much.”

For New York, it will be all about executing their game plan.

"Everyone has very clear understanding of what it is that we want to do, how we want to play and it just comes down to execution," Robles said. "We feel very confident, we feel very optimistic that whoever is called upon is going to not only understand how we want to play, but bring whatever is necessary to help us win.”

New York Red Bulls Preparing For Anything, Everything vs. Chivas -

And likely, whomever is called upon, already has some big game experience under their belt, despite a team full of youth.

"For our team, for our group, I would go back to the Open Cup last year. That’s really where we established our big game mentality," Marsch said. "I think these young players that we have here, they love these moments, they get excited about the big matches. We've been lucky in the last nine months to be a part of a lot of big matches. We’ve had to deal with a lot of travel, with different kinds of opponents, and it’s meant that we’ve required almost every player within our roster to be ready to go. For the most part, I think we’ve been successful, we’ve gotten a lot of really good performances, there’s been a lot of clarity on the field, and it’s given us a chance to play for something special here early in the year. I want our guys to really stay focused on, not the occasion, but how to really go after a game. How to manage what the opponent will present us, and make sure that we are ready for everything this game is going to need." 

New York will need to lead 1-0 to force extra time. If Chivas score once, New York will need three goals to win.

"They know that if they nick a goal, it puts us in a very difficult position," Robles said. "But at the same time, as long as they don’t concede, they are in a great spot, they advance." 

The Red Bulls know that Chivas could present a few different looks, either coming out pushing for an away goal or parking the bus and defending for 90 minutes.

"Certainly a good start would be good for us," Marsch said. "We knew that against Tijuana and we didn’t start well, and Tijuana threw a lot at us from the beginning, so I think we have to be prepared for that. Chivas, in the last year, has scored a lot of goals in the second half of games. A good start, but total concentration for 90 minutes: That’s what big games require, that’s what these two-legged series require. Every play matters, so we’ll have to make sure that our concentration level is very high."

Whichever way they play, New York will be ready.

"Even though we game plan for our opponent, I think our strength is knowing that within our locker room, we have the type of team that can do great things and that is what we are hoping to do," Robles said.