The New York Red Bulls have one last match at Red Bull Arena this season -- but they’re making sure it’s not their last match of 2023.
With Game 2 of the Best-of-3 series returning to their home field, New York is looking to win and move the series back to Ohio for a pivotal third match.
“I see a lot of focus in the guys,” Head Coach Troy Lesesne said. “I see a lot of confidence in the guys through this week just being able to take time to look at the video and take time to look at some individual responsibilities that they want to fine tune going into this next match.”
New York hosts FC Cincinnati on Saturday, November 4, at 7 PM ET.
The New York Red Bulls are in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs!
The Red Bulls have won back-to-back home matches and have posted an 11-5-7 mark across all competitions at home this season.
When asked to try and define his squad with one word, Lesesne took a beat as it was not an easy task.
“‘Resilient’ comes to mind,” Lesesne said. “That would be number one. And it's not one word, but I think what you're seeing in this group is there's absolutely no quit. They're not going to go away quietly and that's what I expect on Saturday.”
John Tolkin knows the foundation for the club this season has been their stingy defense, and he will do everything in his power to keep FC Cincinnati off the board.
“There's not much room for error, especially in a playoff game,” Tolkin said. “Especially in what is an elimination game for us. Limiting our mistakes, and then just staying strong defensively. I think we've done that really well all year. Obviously, they have a lot of firepower, but regardless of the formation or who's on the field, just staying strong in the back. If you don't give up any goals, you give yourself the best chance, and worst case it goes to penalties and it's a crapshoot from there, but it's better than losing in regular time.”
New York have posted a 13-2-3 mark when scoring the first goal of the match this season.
“This year has been successful, but we're hungry for more,” Tolkin said. “This is not going to be our last game. We want to be holding a Cup for everybody at the end of the year. That's all I'm focused on right now.”