New York Red Bulls
- Record: 4-1-4, 16 points, third place in Eastern Conference (as of Tuesday, May 12)
- Previous Match: RBNY win, 2-1 vs. NYCFC
- Record in Last Five Matches: 2-1-2
- Leading Goal Scorer: Bradley Wright-Phillips (5)
- Assist Leader: Felipe Martins/Bradley Wright-Phillips/Lloyd Sam (3)
- Saves Leader: Luis Robles (22)
- Record: 6-2-2, 20 points, second place in Western Conference (as of Tuesday, May 12)
- Previous Match: FC Dallas win, 2-1 vs. LA Galaxy
- Record in Last Five Matches: 3-1-1
- Leading Goal Scorer: Bias Perez (5)
- Assist Leader: Fabian Castillo (5)
- Saves Leader: Chris Seltz (17)
FC Dallas has utilized a 4-2-3-1 formation through the beginning of the season. Despite injuries to center backs Zach Lloyd and Matt Hedges that kept them out vs. LA, manager Oscar Pareja stayed true to the formation, and the decision paid off. The versatility of forward Blas Perez offers Pareja the luxury of changing formations if need be.
FC Dallas has demonstrated quick-strike ability this season, and can transition quickly into the offensive half. Dallas has been using winger Fabian Castillo to gain offensive momentum, similar to the Red Bulls’ style in playing the ball wide to move up the field.
Players to Watch
The Red Bulls strength comes from playing as a unit, both within each position and as a full XI. The central midfield trio of Dax McCarty, Felipe and Sacha Kljestan continues to be the engine of the team, whether it be causing turnovers and quickly starting the counter, or resetting the offense and launching another attack. McCarty and Felipe in particular will be tasked with dropping back to help fend off the potent Dallas attack.
Lloyd Sam had another standout game against NYC FC. The winger was the catalyst of much of the Red Bulls attack, and earned assists on both of Bradley Wright-Phillips goals.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez has turned heads this season while supercharging the Dallas attack. The team’s leading goal scorer has had a tremendous season thus far with five goals in eight games. Perez put one goal in last game against the Galaxy, and all season long has troubled opposing defenses.
The Red Bulls’ defense was able to shut down NYCFC’s superstar David Villa last game, but it’s important to remember he was coming back from an injury. Perez is healthy and has heated up as the season has progressed. It’ll be a great battle for the Red Bull defense to try to prevent the lone striker from getting behind the back line. The FC Dallas midfield has provided excellent service to Perez all season, as demonstrated by the pass that led to his goal last game. They’ll look to do the same on Friday.