Red Bulls Preaching Patience Before Leg 2

Red Bulls MTL

HANOVER, N.J. – After dropping the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on the road, the Red Bulls find themselves playing catch-up with only 90 minutes to correct the course.

Yet despite having precious little time to get back in the tie, New York insists that patience will be the key to climbing out of their early hole.

Down a goal to the Montreal Impact heading into the second leg at Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls will need to find the back of the net at least once if they are to keep their season alive. That alone is a far from insurmountable task, as New York has scored in all but three home games this season (two of which came during their 1-6 start).

“We know we’re going to be dangerous, we know we’re going to get chances,” captain Dax McCarty said. “I’d put money on our dangerous players going forward—Bradley [Wright-Phillips], Sacha [Kljestan], Mike [Grella], Alex [Muyl], Felipe, Gonzalo [Veron]—they’ll get a goal back for us and make the tie pretty interesting.”

Ironically, perhaps the bigger issue will be at the other end of the pitch. Sure, the onus will be on New York to push forward in search of an equalizer, but conceding at the other end could spell catastrophe for the home side.

After failing to score an away goal at Stade Saputo last Sunday, the Red Bulls simply cannot afford to concede one of their own, which would give a decided advantage to the Impact.

“Patience is the key,” McCarty continued. “We have to make sure we don’t concede a silly goal on the counter attack and we know that will be their game plan. They’re dangerous—[Matteo] Mancosu, [Dominic] Oduro, [Ignacio] Piatti—going forward, they’ll hurt you on the break.”

While walking away from Montreal with a loss, the Red Bulls know that things could much worse. At just 1-0, the team remains confident that the series is still very much there for the taking, pointing to last year’s Eastern Conference Finals for proof that it ain’t over til it’s over.

“One of the talking points last year in the Columbus series is that even if it’s 0-0 in the 85th minute, the game is still there for us,” head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters after Wednesday’s training session. “Last year we scored [in extra time] then hit the post. We’ll remind them of that because it’s an important lesson.

“We have to stay after the game, keep things contained and under control, and stay after it the right away. It’ll be there for us.