The New York Red Bulls debuted a new formation against Toronto FC, a 4-1-3-2, with Felipe playing as the lone defensive midfielder.
Jesse Marsch’s reason for the tactical shakeup was to put pressure on Toronto’s back line and ‘spark our team.’
“We changed the formation a little bit to try and see if we could press and occupy their defenders a little bit more,” Marsch said. “Some of this is trying to find ways to spark our team…we’re going through certain moments, but I’m trying to find a way to get a combination of players to get the mentality right.”
At halftime, Fredrik Gulbrandsen was subbed off for Sean Davis, and once again the Red Bulls switched formations.
Marsch said it was a difficult decision because he thought Gulbrandsen was ‘playing well,’ but ultimately wanted to provide help for Felipe to defend space in front of the back four.
“I think the first half…it gave us more attacking options and overall I think we could have been better or faster on the ball, but I think it was pretty good,” Felipe said. “That gives us options going forward that we can play different formations with the personnel we have.
“I just had to stay more central and cover their guys who’d come in the middle…I just had to protect the defense and wait for the guys to come back and help me defensively, but we didn’t allow them to have big chances in the first half.”
Heading into this weekend’s clash against New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena, Marsch noted there’s ‘confidence and belief in the group’ after the match against Toronto, and hopes to replicate their strong showing on Saturday.
“I was really happy with how everybody just poured their hearts into it so I think that can be something we can hang our hats on,” Marsch said. “We’ve got another big game coming up against New England so we’re going to make sure that we’re ready.”