The big day has finally arrived.
The New York Red Bulls are set to take on CD Olimpia in the first leg of CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday, February 22 at 10 p.m. ET and Jesse Marsch’s side is ready for their first official competition of 2018.
“I think we’re all truly excited here on what the possibilities are on what this team can do,” Marsch said. “I feel like we’re ahead of schedule from last year. Guys came in fitter, I think guys understood more from the experience exactly what the time crunch was.”
Thursday’s encounter will be the Red Bulls’ first ever meeting against the Honduran side, who enters the tournament on a nine-game unbeaten streak.
“We know we’re in for a big challenge…we’ve gotten to know them pretty well. They’re well coached, they’re a combative team, a good team, a talented team,” Marsch said. “Anytime you come down to Central America you know you’re going to be dealing with a lot of elements working against you…it won’t be perfect, it won’t be easy.”
Marsch acknowledged the dangers of opening the two-legged series on the road, saying New York “can’t win the series in any one moment but can lose it,” but believes the club’s preparation and “talent pool” will prove to be the difference.
“The system is the playmaker…from a philosophical and style perspective that this talent pool fits the way we play better than any group we’ve ever had,” Marsch said. “We’re really excited and we’re ready to take the season on in a big way.”
The New York Red Bulls take on CD Olimpia in 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday, February 22 at 10 p.m. ET (TV: Univision, RADIO: Red Bulls Radio English).