The New York Red Bulls are riding high right now. They have just booked their spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup Final for only the second time in club history. The Red Bulls rallied from two goals down to steal a late 3-2 extra time victory over USL side FC Cincinnati.
This Friday, the Red Bulls will square off against the Portland Timbers. This will be one of the two remaining road games against the Western Conference in the regular season. The Red Bulls have had struggles against the West this season, going only 3-4-1. Two of those came after the formation switch for the Red Bulls.
New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers Preview
Things to Watch
High Powered Offense
The Red Bulls have finally found their groove in front of goal. In their last six MLS matches, they have scored 20 goals. In their prior 17, the team only managed to score 17 times. Bradley Wright-Phillips has been at the forefront of this offense, scoring six of the 20 scored over this recent stretch. Whether it is the new formation, or a new found confidence, this team is certainly trending in the right direction at the right time.
This Red Bull team has certainly shown a lot of fight and heart this season. It has certainly has been on display over their past two matches. The Red Bulls have overturned deficits in the last two games with three unanswered goals. Doing it against both Orlando City SC and more recently FC Cincinnati, the Red Bulls have shown an attitude this team hasn’t seen in a while. These recent results should give the team a new found confidence no defect is out of reach for them.
The Red Bulls will certainly be in for a tough test however. This will be their third match in a short span of seven days. With many of the starters playing in both the U.S Open Cup semifinal, as well as the physical Orlando match, bodies may be sore and weary. Not to mention, Tuesday’s semifinal took 120 minutes to find a victor. It would not be shocking if Jesse Marsch calls in a few reserves for this match to give a few players on this roster some much needed rest.
Predicted Starting XI
The Red Bulls will have a tough time trying to get three points in this match. They are facing a very tough Portland team, as well as having a team filled with tired legs. The Red Bulls may be unable to execute their press the way they want to. In the end, the Red Bulls will fall in this one due to the fatigue of this past week. Portland take the victory 3-1 against the Red Bulls.