As the final match of the MLS regular season approaches, head coach Jesse Marsch is encouraging his team to treat Sunday’s match against D.C. United as a playoff game.
“We need to continue to have a playoff-type mentality,” Marsch said. “I’m really happy with the last two games specifically because I think our urgency and our concentration for what big games are like has been really good and we can have no lapses right now.”
D.C. United did not qualify for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs this season, and faces their final match of the year against the Red Bulls.
Despite D.C.’s struggles, for New York, facing the club’s oldest rival in the final match at RFK Stadium could prove to be the perfect transition into the postseason as they head into a win-or-go-home playoff game next week.
“It has to be sharp from that perspective from a mentality and focus perspective so that’ll be important for us and that’ll help us set the tone for the midweek match,” Marsch said. “I think this team is really committed to do the things we need to do to be successful and I’m excited to put it to the test in the playoffs.”
Although New York has solidified the six seed in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls are taking aim at three points this weekend to improve their odds of hosting MLS Cup if they make it to the championship in December.
“Every game we play them it’s…like a war,” Alex Muyl said. “We’re expecting a very hard game…if we can get more points and we make it to the MLS Cup, we can host it so it’s not a game that either side is going to take lightly.”