The New York Red Bulls will take on the Montreal Impact and conclude the toughest stretch of the season, having played five games in 15 days, before a much needed two week break.
During the aforementioned stretch the Red Bulls have come away with points in all four of their matches (2-0-2), and have given opportunities to the younger players to step right in, prove they could also get the job done, which Bradley Wright-Phillips believes, speaks to the Red Bulls system and how everyone's role is clearly defined.
"The thing with the way Red Bulls plays is that the system is, I wouldn’t say easy, but for guys their jobs are clear," Wright-Phillips said. "You see guys that are coming in, that haven’t had much minutes and they come in and do their job. We changed our team a bit and guys fully understand what their job is and their role is for that day and whoever has been called up on this whole season has done the job.”
New York is currently playing their best soccer of the season, which according to Head Coach Chris Armas is due to the work that both his coaching staff as well as his players have put forth.
"The staff, if you see the work they’re putting in, its incredible," Armas said. "Everyone’s hustling, so the demand is high and the work they’re putting in, it's impressive and really thankless. The group gets a lot of that credit, they’re fearless, they keep going after it and I think you can see now there’s belief that’s growing. Stay humble, keep working, one game at a time, let’s keep it going, that’s kind of how they’re talking there.”
After Thursday's training, Derrick Etienne, Jr. spoke with reporters about how the success in the month of August can also be attributed to the team playing to their strengths and playing off their defense.
“I think knowing just what we’re good at," Etienne said. "I think we’re playing to our strengths, we’re going out there and pressing teams. I think our defenders have been amazing this year and then we know we can go out there and we can score multiple goals and we can grind out wins and one-nothings, so I think knowing a goals going to come, we can be solid and compact in the defense, I think that’s really good for us.”
The Red Bulls will now look to stay atop the Eastern Conference and Supporters' Shield standings when they take on an Impact team that Armas said will be a fun challenge on Saturday.
"In terms of Montreal, they’re always tough against us," Armas said. "We know that they beat us in the playoffs and they’re always good in their building. They have some dangerous, talented attackers, and it’ll be another fun challenge against a good team.”
The Red Bulls will kickoff against the Montreal Impact at 7:30 p.m. ET, with coverage on MSG, MSG GO and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish on TuneIn.