The New York Red Bulls and head coach Jesse Marsch have brought two traits with them from last season into 2017. One is a slow start to the regular season, currently sitting sixth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings. The other is their habit of struggling away from Red Bull Arena, which will again be put to the test at the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening.
Red Bulls Aim for Elusive Away Victory at Montreal Impact
New York visit a Montreal side that eliminated them from the postseason last year, but has not enjoyed the same type of from in the current campaign. The Impact sit last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 3-4-4, but are coming off a Canadian Championship semifinal win over the Vancouver Whitecaps mid-week.
The Red Bulls earned three points against the New England Revolution last Saturday, after a four-game winless streak threatened their position in the standings. The club will look to continue that trend at Stade Saputo this weekend.
Players to watch
One of the key areas that has led to disappointing results away from home for New York this season is scoring goals. With this thought in mind, pressure will be squarely on the shoulders of striker Bradley Wright-Phillips to get an advantage.
The English forward’s ability to create space in dangerous areas will be a crucial element to finding victory. Daniel Royer has been influential playing out wide and can provide service in the attack.
Efficiency in the final third will be top priority for New York in earning maximum points on their travels.
Confident home side
Montreal may be at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but a strong showing in the Canadian Championship semifinals has manager Mauro Biello’s side in fine form.
The Impact advanced past Vancouver with a 5-4 aggregate win on Tuesday evening.
League play has not been as kind, but the Red Bulls could be visiting the club at the wrong time to end their issues away from home.
The back-line will be essential for both sides, as center-backs will have to deal with sharp movements in the attack.
New York defenders must keep track of Ignacio Piatti and Dominic Oduro, while the Impact must be able to account for Bradley Wright-Phillips.
The match’s result may ultimately hinge on the abilities of players like Aaron Long and Laurent Ciman, as their efforts will have a massive influence on the final score.