The New York Red Bulls head into Texas this weekend with the hopes of returning home with three points in hand. Given the juggling of defenders due to suspensions and injuries, combined with Dallas’ 13-8-7 record, it would appear to be as tough a match as any on the surface. But there may also be a few opportunities that open the door for New York to claim those three points in an effort to edge them ever closer to a playoff berth.
Dallas’ Brek Shea, recently voted MLSsoccer.com’s No. 1 player in the group of 24 Under 24, will not be in the lineup this weekend. The 21-year-old forward received his fifth yellow card in Monday’s 2-0 loss to New England. Additionally, The Dallas Morning News’ Andy Friedlander is reporting that forward Marvin Chavez is out with an ankle injury and not expected to play in Saturday’s game.
With both Dallas wings out of the lineup, the opportunity is ripe for New York to capitalize.
“I have a good feeling for this Saturday game,” said Red Bulls coach Hans Backe. “I think definitely that we can, if we play a little bit smart, pick up points.”
Although the absence of Shea and Chavez bodes well for New York, the team isn’t about ready to write Dallas off. Even with FCD dropping three of its last five, the depth of the team is still something the Red Bulls are not taking lightly.
“Brek’s a great player and a key part of their team, but they have a lot of other guys that can hurt you,” said defender Carlos Mendes. “They’re a solid team throughout.”
Defender Chris Albright echoed a similar sentiment.
“They come at you,” he said. “They press all over the field, they’re athletic and they’re tough. I think that they’ve been one of the most dangerous teams certainly over the last two years. They can sort of counter on you and put you behind quickly.”
MLSsoccer.com’s Kristian Dyer made mention of the fact that New York remains focused on producing a clean sheet, limiting mistakes and focusing on results. The team will look to do just that when they take on Dallas Saturday at 8:30 ET on MSG.