Red Bulls Preparing for Short Stint in Houston before Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League

Luis Robles

With a handful of preseason matches wrapped up, the New York Red Bulls are ironing out all the final kinks before the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League series kicks off.

Head Coach Jesse Marsch said the team focused on watching video of their win over Phoenix Rising FC, with a special eye on shutting down the opposing attackers.

"We’re trying to fine-tune our defensive responsibilities so we don’t give away so many chances," Marsch said.

The Red Bulls scored an own goal and gave up one goal to Phoenix on Saturday night.

“Obviously, we are trying to get the new guys up to speed on what we do here and how we play," Defender Connor Lade said. "For the returning guys, we are just shaking the rust off and making sure we are sharp because he have some meaningful games coming up."

The Red Bulls take on Club Deportivo Olimipia on February 22 at a neutral site in San Jose, Costa Rica for Leg 1. The second leg of the matchup is at Red Bull Arena on March 1.

"We are just trying to get our sharpness up to speed and get as much fitness as we can and I think we are feeling like we are in a good way right now, feeling strong and continuing to build every day,” Lade said.

New York will make a short trip to Houston for a few days before flying to Costa Rica to train before the upcoming match. Marsch said he expects the starters to go the full 90 minutes in their upcoming match on Wednesday, working in subs similar to a regular match.

"We’ll be ready to go to Houston with a lot of minutes and fitness under our belt, and be ready to organize ourselves completely to be ready for the first CONCACAF Champions League match.

"It’s coming quick," Marsch said.