The New York Red Bulls know that the next five weeks will be the toughest stretch of their season -- and first up is the New York Derby at Red Bull Arena on Friday.
The team will play eight games in five weeks, including five on the road with the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Final, kicking it all off against New York City FC on August 25.
"Big points at home, for sure, and I think more than that is that it is our rival and they have gotten the better of us two times in a row and now it is time to right that wrong," Head Coach Jesse Marsch said following training. "We are going to make sure at every level that we are ready to go."
Sean Davis said the team will take each challenge one game at a time.
"We can not get caught up in the success that we have had the last few weeks," Davis said. "We had a great week last week but now it is all about looking forward to this next game in league play. Friday’s match is a really important one, one where it is against NYCFC, a team in the Eastern Conference that has done really well so we are not looking at the past we are taking one game at a time and putting all of our energy into this one.”
Aaron Long said the team definitely struggled on defense in their last game against NYCFC, but are looking to keep things buttoned up this time around.
"We are going to have to tighten it up," Long said. "Their front four are very good so we are going to have to single them out on the wings and deal with them.”
Marsch continued to hammer home the one-game-at-a-time mentality.
"We spent a little bit more time this week preparing tactically what this game is going to require and I know our group is in a good way and we are going to be ready to put a good foot forward," he said. "It will be one game at a time, but this one is very important, no doubt."