|photo by Matt Kremkau
Sunday night's disappointing 1-0 loss against their bitter rivals, D.C. United left a very bad taste in the collective mouths in both the team and supporters alike. Now, they focus their attention on the New England Revolution, a team that is sitting on the top of the Eastern Conference and firing on all cylinders as they invade Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
During Thursday's Media Availability at the Red Bulls Traning Facility, head coach Gerhard Struber spoke about his team's matchup against New England, and in particular, containing midfielder Carles Gil:
"Yeah, I think we realized that they have with [Carles] Gil, an outstanding good player. He can handle the many moments under pressure without time, also in a successful way. Yea, we do not only play against him but they have not only [Carles] Gil, they have also other very interesting players with high talent and with high quality and we have to be very smart and very focused in our style of play. Then we think, they have more to do with us and we have not so much to do with Gil or the other players. I think we have to find our domination game with our typical style of play and then it also for a team like New England absolutely difficult against us.
Yeah, I think right now, we understand which opponent is coming on Saturday. Of course, we have respect, but I think the most important thing is that we have a big belief in our style of play and in our quality and our football. We do have not so much to concentrate on the opponent, it is nice that they come here, but we have the chance to play against the top team in the league and we can show one more time against a top opponent, how is our level, how is our reaction after a game like D.C. and this is a big chance, and we love to go into challenges like that. This is more that we have a focus and concentration in our big quality and in our style of play."
Next, Tom Edwards discussed what the backline has to do against New England, and on keeping the team's home unbeaten streak alive:
"I feel like it is going to be a team defensive show and I feel like the best defense will be a massive part as they have good quality players, when they get time and space on the ball, they can provide good quality. We know which players they are, and we are going to try to stop them at their source as quickly as possible and try to keep on them. I feel like obviously, we are at home, and we need to concentrate on ourselves and getting back to everything we are good at and what we were showing in the games before. I am sure we can get a good result this weekend.
Yea, so obviously, if you look at our home run it is very strong. I feel like we have built a fortress there and it is difficult for teams to come to. We have had a good result away from home, and some disappointing ones, but we know at home we can, especially with the fans on our side, we’ve been having good results and I feel like if we carry on doing what we are doing, every time we play at Red Bull Arena, then I’m sure we can keep on getting good results there."
Finally, midfielder Caden Clark discussed what he wants to see more from his teammates this weekend:
"Yeah, I mean just be ourselves. I think we play at home, and we are ourselves, we are a different team. It is very hard to play against us, so I would say just stick to what we do best, and everyone has to be sharp on the day, including myself. I think D.C. was not the best game for anyone, including myself, you know, my worst game in MLS so far. I think going from that we are all hungry, we always want to have a great game, and put on a good performance.
We are all mad. We are all mad about the D.C. game, I think that is going to bring out the hunger in us. We are at home, our fans will be there, I think just put on a good performance. We all just want to work hard for each other, we all want to win for each other, the amount of work we put in. We just want to repay that to the fans, the coaching staff for putting in the work, so I think it is really in our hands."
The Red Bulls beleaguered midfielder and defense corps will have their hands full trying to deal with the challenges not only Carles Gil but forward Gustavo Bou as well. The last two meetings in Gilette Stadium were not pretty despite some bright spots in light of the losses. The team will have to put together a much better performance collectively if they hope to defeat the conference-leading Revolution on Saturday evening.
Prospective Starting XI:
New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Kyle Duncan, Tom Edwards, Amro Tarek, John Tolkin, Dru Yearwood, Sean Davis, Caden Clark, Cristian Cásseres Jr. Patryk Klimala, Fábio
New England Revolution: Brad Knighton, DeJuan Jones, Joseph DeLaGarza, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye, Matt Polster, Tommy McNamara, Scott Caldwell, Carles Gil, Arnór Traustason, Gustavo Bou