This is as close as it gets to a must win match for the New York Red Bulls. After a tough 4-2 loss against Toronto FC, three points is desperately needed here. This weekend the Red Bulls face another Canadian foe in the Vancouver Whitecaps. Going from the best in the East to the best in the West will be no easy task for a team desperate to clinch a playoff spot. With only three matches remaining for the Red Bulls, time is of the essence.
New York Red Bulls-Vancouver Whitecaps Preview
Three Things to Watch
This man needs to see as much time as possible over the next few weeks. Gonzalo Veron has been on an absolute tear in recent games and has easily been one of the Red Bulls’ top attacking options. He has drawn two penalties over his past two matches and has been quite the impact player. Scoring three goals in his last three games should certainly keep him getting a high volume of minutes. Veron’s standing among the Red Bulls fan base has certainly improved with his play of late. In the past few months, he has gone from a man who everyone wanted gone to having everyone begging for him to start.
Win and You’re In
The Red Bulls have it as cut and dry as it can be. All they have to do is secure a victory and they will be in the playoffs. A win here would put the Red Bulls seven points clear of the three-team tie currently for the seventh spot. However, the Red Bulls are literally limping to the finish line. They have not won an MLS match since they defeated Orlando City SC on August 12th. With a red hot Atlanta United FC side visiting the Red Bulls the following week, a win here is vital.
It has been a very bizarre year on both sides of the ball for this squad. For the longest stretch, the attack was being ridiculed for its lack of ability to put the ball in the back of the net. It took the Red Bulls until July 5th of this season to score more then two goals in a single match. The Red Bulls then went on to score 15 goals in a four game span. The offense has heated up once again in this late stretch of the season. They have scored seven goals in three games and ended up with three points in none of those matches. In the past three matches, the team has conceded ten goals. The Red Bulls need look very deep to find answers to help this back line if they have any hope of making the playoffs.
Projected Starting XI
The Red Bulls haven’t won in quite some time. There is quite a bit of frustration among the team and especially the supporters. This team needs to find some confidence and instill some belief back to all. For the Red Bulls the task at hand is short and sweet: Go get a win. Nothing more needs to be said. In the end, Red Bulls clinch a playoff spot by a score of 3-2.