Ben Solomon

Kaku Could be the Difference Maker in Leg 2

Could Kaku be the difference-maker the New York Red Bulls need on Sunday?

Despite not registering an assist since July, the crafty midfielder has three goals since the end of August.

“We are extremely happy with Kaku’s contributions," Head Coach Chris Armas said. "He gives us something different up the field and every game he’s part of almost every good attack, we could probably find him more." 

All six of Kaku's goals this season have been game-winners and his 14 assists were tied for seventh in MLS during the regular season.

"Look at this last game," Armas said. "Tim Parker hits the post on a corner kick, who took that? Kaku. Danny Royer gets in close to a breakaway, who gave him that ball? Kaku. Who put the through ball on his own and creates that on his own for Danny. He weasels out of a spot and hits a laser that is near perfect and at the end of the game he puts a perfect play together, puts it right where Brad does really well with it, really clever ball with his right foot, so that is only three. I’m sure he is involved in other subtle chances, but he’s good for these assists, he’s playing well, he’s playing better than he has all year in my opinion, so he’s so important for our team."

The midfielder knows he needs to have a big game -- as well as all his teammates -- on Sunday for New York to advance.

"We all have to step up our games in the biggest moments," Kaku said through a translator. "For us to advance to the conference final, we have to give more than we gave last game."

The Young Designated Player has already shown to have a special knack for finding the game-winner in 2018.

"He is a winner," Armas said. "We love Kaku. He’s incredible on the field, off the field, the way he has gotten along with the guys, his mentality and winning edge, I’m sure everyone will get to see the highest level of it in Leg 2.”