Red Bulls Face “Critical” Match vs Orlando City

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

“From an internal standpoint, the (Red Bulls) leadership understands it’s a critical time,” goalkeeper Luis Robles said after training on Wednesday, “and it starts on the training pitch. So, we brought the right mentality and that’s something we hope transfers to the (match on Sunday).”

Robles lays out the mission quite clearly. But will the Red Bulls execute?

New York has won just one match this season. They ended 337 minutes of scoreless soccer against the Colorado Rapids over the weekend, but the result was the same.

With one victory in the last seven matches, even Robles, who has started a record 113 consecutive MLS matches, has found little to celebrate.

“Right now, we haven’t been strong anywhere. For us, it starts with our mentality. Maybe the last couple of weeks it wasn’t there,” Robles continued.

“There’s bigger things going on here than the record.”

Prior to this past road trip, the team’s message was simple: “Why not six?” — referring of course to the six points the Red Bulls potentially could have picked up.

Instead of coming back home with full points, New York returns empty handed, and at the very bottom of the MLS table.

Despite it all captain Dax McCarty still believes there is time to turn the ship around.

“We wanted to use the road trip as a springboard to start our season off and get things back on the right track, but obviously that didn’t happen. It’s a tough stretch for us, but we haven’t lost that much confidence,” McCarty said. “Obviously there are certain areas that we can improve. It’s not just one specific thing. It’s all areas of our game that we can improve on right now.

“Soccer is a pretty simple game. You’ve got to score goals and not concede any if you want to succeed, and it seems we can’t do either real well right now.”

In many ways, Orlando was the club that best took advantage of what seems to be the Red Bulls Achilles heel – the bunker and counter strategy that most clubs have played against New York this season. It’s a strategy that yielded a 5-2 victory for the Lions last season, and included a Cyle Larin hat trick.

“Orlando has had a great start to their season,” head coach Jesse Marsch said. “They’ve been one of the best teams in the league, and they’ve scored a lot of goals late in games. We have to be more solid and not give things away and, at home, play with confidence.”

New York host Orlando once again, and will certainly be looking for a positive result this Sunday at Red Bull Arena.

“The confidence gets rattled when the results don’t come, but the process we’re trying to put in place is the same and the belief we have in this group is the same,” Marsch continued. “We’re all going to have to fight our way through it, and as painful as this has been, I think that once we get through this and over the hump, I think we will be so much stronger for it.

“It’s not easy when you’re in these moments but you’ve got to have real conviction.”


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  • Chicos tacos

    if they lose they sell and rebrand to Coca Cola :)
    If they win they wil rebrand to red bull USA and take over the soccer scene in America.
    We gotta admit they have the best academy in the world and the best front office……… Red bull will be the first team to win the concacaf champions.

    • Schwarz

      Best academy in the world? what you smoked son, usa is not “world”

    • slowleftarm

      Best academy I wouldn’t even garble such inaccuracies. I believe this team will be moved and eventually rebranded.


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