Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena will certainly be a welcome sight for the New York Red Bulls, after a defeat last weekend at the Philadelphia Union was the team’s fifth consecutive away loss of the season. Manager Jesse Marsch’s side hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy, another club looking for more consistent results in the current MLS campaign.
New York Red Bulls-LA Galaxy: What to Watch for
The Galaxy come off a hard-fought 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire. But despite the dropped points at home, key players missing from the line-up had many within the organization feeling positive ahead of their cross-country trip to face New York.
The Red Bulls won three consecutive matches before two away losses followed last week. With yet another three games in Harrison on the schedule starting against LA, strong performances could certainly erase a hectic and disappointing run of form.
Midfielder Tyler Adams has been the preferred choice alongside Felipe Martins in Marsch’s formation this season, and has certainly displayed incredible potential with his seemingly endless stamina throughout 90 minutes. But with his inclusion for the United States U-20 squad, it is Sean Davis who will fill the role on Sunday.
Davis performed well in the midfield while taking over for an injured Dax McCarty for portions of last season, and showcased many of the qualities that could make him a frequent contributor to success. His ability to push the attack forward may be a key against a struggling Galaxy defense.
Tyler Adams has been a constant in the line-up this year, but Sean Davis may be able to state his case moving forward with solid play in the middle.
Three matches in eight days was always going to produce a fatigued team, but New York will need to see more from their attack against LA.
Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was slow to get started last season and has four league goals thus far. Scoring chances were certainly present in their last match at Philadelphia, but better finishing in the final third will be required for a victory Sunday.
The goals tend to come at home, and there will be plenty of motivation for the Red Bulls to reverse their fortunes after a difficult week.
A changing era
Once jokingly referred to as the “Old Money Derby,” New York and Los Angeles are two MLS originals who have brought in star-studded talent over the years.
But a different philosophy from both sides has seen a modified approach in their signings. The likes of David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Rafa Marquez and Landon Donovan have made this rivalry very unique. Now with both sides boasting sensational academy products and homegrown talent, it feels as if there is a battle for both the present and the future within MLS from the Red Bulls and the Galaxy.
A long journey to face a Red Bulls squad that is extremely effective at home creates a tough challenge for LA. If New York are able to utilize their high-press system correctly, the club will likely be able to stop their current skid in the Eastern Conference standings.