Red Bulls look to buck scoring, road woes at Chivas

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

The New York Red Bulls’ road woes are well documented. They are 1-4-2 in their past seven road fixtures. Their futility away from home is not unique as the overwhelming majority of teams league wide suffer the same plight.

What is fairly unique to the team is their uncanny ability – both home and away – to play down to the opposition. They did so at Columbus dropping a 2-0 loss away. They earned a draw against the lowly Toronto FC just a few weeks ago in a game that could easily have been a loss.

This week, they face off against Chivas USA; a team defined by their mediocrity.

What Red Bull team will show up? That is a question that will follow New York right on through to the opening whistle. Having said that, the team is mentally preparing to keep a high level against the lowly Chivas.

“You know, the one thing I told these guys that I expect from them is do not look at the standings,” Head Coach Mike Petke told reporters. “Don’t look at their place in the league right now because they are a far better team than that and we need to be on our toes 100 percent.”

“No they don’t [condede a lot of goals],” Thierry Henry noted. “I mean they conceded three the other day playing with 10 men, you have to see that. I mean, since I’ve been in this league I’ve never played a game that was easy. So, I know again it’s going to be a difficult game and we have to win it. I’m sure they’re going to want to win it.

“Everything is tight on the west, on the east, everything is so tight that every game is like a must win game, like always since I’ve been here but even more so this year.”

Their recent offensive struggles will also complicate matters. The team has been shut out in consecutive home and away fixtures. While Petke has not confirmed his start, newcomer Bradley Wright-Phillips will be available for selection, adding an extra offensive threat to the mix.

“The most important thing is the three points, but I’d love to get out there on the pitch and make my debut,” said Wright-Phillips. “(Petke) has told me before he’s going to look at me on the wing or up front. Wherever he wants me to go, I’ll go out there and do my best….I’d like to think I could add some pace and a bit of guile. The wingers are very good, I just have to wait me time see where I can play

“I know (Henry) likes to come deep. He has the ability to come deep, get the ball, make things happen. I like to run in behind and Fabian (Espindola) is the same. Peguy (Luyindula) likes to come deep, but I like to run in behind the defender and get one on one with the keeper, so I feel playing up front that’s what I bring, that’s what I try to do, make runs in behind the defenders.”

Whether Wright-Phillips is ready or not, team leader Tim Cahill believes it is up to New York to concentrate on a solid road effort to buck their recent offensive woes and earn a much-needed three points.

“Yeah I suppose it’s probably one of the trickiest games of the season,” he noted. “The results haven’t been the best so they’re due to get one. Knowing our luck, at the moment on the road, you know, it’s against us. Overall, a lot of the boys are fit again, we’re feeling confident, it was a tough game at home against Philadelphia, but we’re excited.

“We’re going to L.A., it’s a bit of a trip, we’re going up today and we’ll spend Saturday and Sunday preparing the right way. But overall, I felt we’ve been training well all week, we’ve had a reaction in training as in working on attacking play and trying to break teams down. I suppose it’s up to what we can produce on the day”

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