|photo by Matt Kremkau
Returning home after picking up their first road victory against Orlando City SC on Saturday, The New York Red Bulls now set their sights against the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena Thursday night.
Head Coach Gerhard Struber and his team are well aware of the Union’s offensive strengths from the last time they met in May at Subaru Park. They lost 1-0 by an early goal no-thanks to a momentary defensive lapse by goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.
“I think Philadelphia plays in a similar direction like us. On the ball and against the ball, I think we have to change something or be flexible in some moments. We know that Philadelphia is an outstanding team with a very good balance between defense and attacking moments. They have many key players.” said coach Gerhard Struber during Tuesday’s press conference.
“It’s a completely different game, like the game against Orlando City. It’s a challenge from the physical side and the tactical side that we are in our execution in transition. Also, our buildups will have to be very clear and clean, and we’ll have the right desire in the end that we can create the next win at home.”
Coach Struber, along with midfielder and captain Sean Davis, forward Patrik Klimala, and goalkeeper Carlos Coronel, received “Team of the Week” honors by Major League Soccer, a first for the members of the team. However, despite the well-deserved accolades, Captain Sean Davis reminded everyone that while the team has indeed made some strides despite the injuries that have sidelined some of his teammates, there is still a way to go in this season. They want to continue that momentum at home.
“They have two forwards (Kacper Przybylko, Sergio Santos) that can hold the ball up and can run against the ball and challenge you in several different ways. They’re just a solid team all around, you can go one-by-one, but they have a lot of talent all over the field and a lot of experience. We had a tough time with this team earlier in the year, although we did create some really good looks, and I think that we’ve grown since then. It’s time for us to prove that and turn the page from this Orlando game and get this result at home. That’s extremely important to us."
Finally, Coach Struber stressed the importance of this match to continue the momentum after gaining four points from the three-game road trip by beating Philadelphia at home,”
“I think especially the last two games show me that we are ready right now. They were also a way to pick up points, and our performances were constantly on a good level. The game on Thursday will show us how ready we are against a massive opponent like Philadelphia. We can handle it, and I have great trust in my team that we can win this game.”