Marsch: Red Bulls Have to “Accelerate Process”

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Jesse Marsch was looking to the future after the 2-0 preseason win over the Portland Timbers on Friday night. Marsch has the unenviable task of preparing the New York Red Bulls for not only the MLS season but also the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage in less than three weeks.

That means they have little time to waste in their mission towards fitness and competition.

“For us, we have to accelerate our process here,” said head coach Jesse Marsch. “We have a very important game in about 26 days. The emphasis was to come down here and play MLS competition immediately. I think, overall, a really good performance from us.”

New York is currently missing key players like Sacha Kljestan and Luis Robles who were are still with the U.S. Men’s National team training camp. However, Marsch still had a strong side that consisted of players very familiar to the Red Bull brass. Many of the substitutions shined a light on the USL players that have been making noise over the past year like Derrick Etienne Jr., Aaron Long and Tyler Adams. Once changes began to reflect more of their youthful core, the Red Bulls managed to find more life against the Timbers, putting in three solid shifts on the evening.

“More than anything we’re trying to crank up the minutes a little bit faster than we normally do,” said Marsch about the preseason schedule. “We’ll put a lot of emphasis on game minutes. We’ve even scaled back on training a little bit because nights like tonight are most valuable for us.”

Next up is a preseason game against Real Salt Lake on Tuesday as New York continues their rush to get players match-fit before the first competitive game on February 22nd.