MLS Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution
The New York Red Bulls can be the first MLS club to clinch a playoff spot as they return home from Portland with a point.
For the Revolution, they need to find ways to pick up points, and it won’t be easy.
New York hasn’t lost at home since June 1st to Vancouver, and with New England’s playoff hopes clinging on by a thread, the Revolution must act now.
They’re making strides with four points in their last two matches, but they remain in a race against the clock. With only third-place Montreal and a double with a surging Columbus remaining in the season, the chances to pick up points are slimming.
Revs forward Saër Sène has turned on the afterburners for the stretch run. Having netted just three times in his first 18 appearances this season, the last four matches for Sène have seen him grab two goals and three assists.
Sène scored last weekend against Houston, but the Dynamo soon equalized. The Revolution need to figure out their back four, as they haven’t kept a clean sheet since August 18.
For the Red Bulls, life provides a little more room to breathe. They need just a single point to clinch a playoff spot, and could the prospects of that happening Saturday are good - New England haven’t won a match at Red Bull Arena in six years.
The season has been a massive success (so far) for New York, and the club are feeling massively confident. Tim Cahill stated “The only way we lose games is when we give them away.”
Hard to argue with that.
Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips are again both unavailable, so most likely Fabian Espindola and Peguy Luyindula will play up front as they did last week.
New York can survive on that in the short-term, but logic would say they will need Wright-Phillips back for the playoffs to really make noise. Coach Mike Petke didn’t sound too confident though: “His prognosis is more of wait until the hamstring feels better and then we get him out doing the light training and stuff, so that could be the next week, it could be the week after.”
Will the Revolution pull a rabbit out of the hat and rebuild their playoffs hope? Or will the Red Bulls be the kings at home again and lock up the postseason?