The win against LAFC last Sunday brought the Red Bulls seasonal record to 8-1-0 against Western Conference opponents, and 9-3-1 against teams who are currently in the top six in both the Eastern and Western Conference standings.
The team has a knack to play their best brand of football against the top teams in MLS, which according to defender Kemar Lawrence, speaks to how good this team is.
"Real good teams I think tend to show up more in bigger games when you need them more," Lawrence said. "With our team we tend to really raise the level when we play against bigger opponents. Right now we’re at a part in the season where it’s really buckled down."
Although the Red Bulls have had success against teams who are currently in the playoff picture, the team isn't going to overlook the clubs who are sitting outside of a playoff spot. To New York, every game matters from here on out, especially with the Supporters' Shield in sight.
"Every game means a lot to us and every three points means we’re closer to the Supporters’ Shield and we’re closer to the playoffs," Lawrence said. "It doesn’t matter the team. I think no matter where we go, if we have a home game, any team we face, I think right now it’s just about the three points and not dropping a point to anybody at all. This is a big one coming up on Saturday."
Sean Davis echoed those same sentiments when speaking to reporters after Wednesday's training.
"At this point in the season it’s just important for us to pick up every point possible and that starts with the game on Saturday," Davis said. "We know that we’re in contention for the [Supporters'] shield, we’re in contention to win the east. There are very good teams, but it’s almost in our hands to take care of business against every team for the rest of the year."
At this point in the season, and the Red Bulls currently sitting second in the Eastern Conference standings, Head Coach Chris Armas believes his team is focused and understands the importance of every game moving forward.
“I think that’s going to be part of any team trying to claim to be a good team and to claim to be realistic about pushing far for a trophy is that every game you realize, in training, is a big game," Armas said. If you start to slip on that level then you set yourself up for failure at some point. I don’t think it’s going to take much motivating or talking about that with our group. I think we’re focused and we understand that we have to bring our best stuff all the time, and that’s in terms of the football, and in terms of the alertness and not letting any play slip, set pieces, and so on."