The Red Bulls returned to training Friday afternoon and worked out over the weekend at Montclair University for the first time since the squad was given a much-needed week of rest.
Some players took a vacation, while others opted to lay low locally or get a few workout sessions in during the down week. Whatever the case, however the players spent their time, it’s back to business now as the Red Bulls prepare for Saturday’s match against the Columbus Crew.
“I think the break came perfect because we had been on the road, tough games,” Head Coach Hans Backe said. “Mentally wise I think it was very good to get this break.”
Take one look at the MLS table and you’ll see just how close the race to the postseason is in the Eastern Conference. Any opportunity to rest tired legs or heal up nagging injuries is certainly a welcome sight as teams aim to batten down the hatches for the final stretch of the season.
Come this time of year, the competition takes on a new look as fringe teams battle for playoff contention. Columbus is one of those teams, as just one point separates them from sixth-place DC United. Even though New York’s total of 46 points is good enough for second place in the East, the team is not about ready to concede points to a conference rival.
Kenny Cooper spoke about the tight race in the East following Friday’s training session.
“When you’re close in the table to teams and you go against them, they’re six-point games,” Cooper said. “Because here’s a possibility of not only getting points but also taking points off of the other team, and hopefully we can do that in these last couple of games.”
Five of New York’s remaining seven games will take place at Red Bull Arena, where they remain an undefeated 9-0-3 this season. For tickets, visit Red Bulls Ticket Central or call 877.RB.SOCCER.