The New York Red Bulls will head across the continent to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
It'll be the second match of a three-game road trip (with the third one being played at Yankee Stadium) and the beginning of a stretch of five games in 15 days for the club.
"There’s just little room for error, especially against good teams on the road," Head Coach Chris Armas said. "Vancouver has shown that if you’re not ready to play, it’s a long way to go to get your butt kicked."
Aaron Long said that taking care of their bodies over the next two weeks, and making sure there is proper rotation, is important to stay healthy and able.
"Five games in 15 days is definitely going to be tough," Long said.
The Red Bulls have won back-to-back games and eight of their last 10. During that stretch, the Red Bulls have five multi-goal performances, five clean sheets, and have won three of four road matches. Vancouver have won two of their last five, including a draw. The Whitecaps have won three of their last eight.
"Vancouver is a good team, they’re especially good at home and they’ve always given us problems," Armas said. "Typically known for stingy defensively, comfortable in a deeper block defensively and that sets up for a counterattack, which they’re number one in the league in counterattacks and transitions. It is by design, but they can sit back, be organized, disciplined and catch you going the other way."
Vancouver is 5-2-4 at home, averaging 2.1 goals per game at BC Place. The Red Bulls are 6-4-1 on the road, with 1.5 goals per game away from Red Bull Arena.
Tim Parker, who is returning to Vancouver for the first time since being dealt to the Red Bulls in February, knows the Whitecaps have threats.
"They’re an organized team defensively," Parker said. "Hard to break down, they got some big bodies in the box to worry about. Set pieces they’re very good on."
The Whitecaps have a few standouts to pay attention to, according to Long.
"We just know, offensively, they have a lot of attacking options," Long said. "A lot of guys that score a lot of goals, a lot of assists, but we’re a good defensive team so I think, we’re going to attack that."
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET with coverage on MSG, MSG GO and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish. New York Red Bulls Radio goes live at 6:30 p.m. ET with Honda Countdown to Kickoff. The Spanish play-by-play broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m.