Chris Armas & Kaku
Ben Solomon

Chris Armas: 'Real Salt Lake Are Good in Transition'

After their 3-2 home opener victory, the New York Red Bulls will fly to Utah to play against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Although the team conceded two goals in the second half, the team left with plenty of positives. 

“I think our attackers are really confident right now,” said captain Sean Davis to the media on Wednesday afternoon. “I think they had a great game against Cincinnati, you can see the plays that they can put together. It’s fun to watch. We feel good. We know that they’re good defensively, but we do have a lot of confidence in our attacking, especially to put plays together. Guys can come in off the bench, give us a different look. So, we’re happy with how we’re progressing in the attacking third, and we’re excited to put that into place on Saturday.”

Midfielder Florian Valot ended the game with two assists, one of them scored by Kaku. Both Kaku and Valot got three tackles apiece, a stat that sheds light on the team’s pressing and intensity. 

“We’re a pressing team, so we sometimes know what types of passes we like to press, not getting into it. Short, quick passes always with an eye forward, and then that sets up that if we lose the ball, we can kind of press, that’s the rhythm we want,” said the Red Bulls Head Coach. “And I think we can see, even in this game, the way we set up in that 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2 that it offers Kaku and Valot, and other players in the spaces two strikers as options. It’s a lot of this real quick play that we talked about that can cause teams trouble.” 

Defender Tim Parker believes that the two goals conceded on Sunday will serve as lessons to improve from and get that first shutout of the season. 

“It was two giveaways,” he said. “I think when you look at the second one, it’s a little bit more unlucky than the first one is, but I think it’s just tidying up, making sure that we’re focused right away because the first goal we give up in the first minute of the second half, we rode the wave pretty well and obviously got the third goal.”

Real Salt Lake will head into Week 2 after getting a scoreless draw in their visit to Orlando City, where they only managed one shot on target during the 90 minutes, but Armas believes that at home they’ll be a hard team to break down. 

“They’re a team that oftentimes is in a 4-4-2,” said Armas. “They’re organized, they’re hard to break down, and they’re good in transition. You know, [Damir] Kreilach and [Albert] Rusnák, some of these attackers are very good… Corey Baird, which can challenge us anytime so… We think we have a good plan going in already. We feel comfortable with how we can go after them.”