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Match Preview: Red Bulls look to add momentum against NYCFC

photo by Matt Kremkau

Feeling good after winning their first match since July, head coach Gerhard Struber and his team look to continue the momentum as they now face local rivals New York City FC at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening.

During this week's conference call with the media, the coach discussed the matchup against NYCFC and the team's approach to a highly anticipated New York Derby match...

"Yeah, I think with New York City FC we have an opponent for our chest. They can handle the game with a big experience in more ways, they can play on the ground with a high combination tempo, they can play also with layoffs with long balls very efficiently. I think from the statistics, many standpoints, the game style from New York City FC and also the output is for me one of the best teams in the league and for us, it is one more time very important that we find against a team like New York City FC in a derby that we have the right hunger, the right fitness, the right shape, and the right staggering. In the end, we can see also that they have not only strength, they have also the one or other topic and we will find that in the game, and we will move the boys in this direction in the coming days."

Yeah, of course. I think it is a very exciting time and we go into a Derby for me, my coaching staff, and for every single player, and we have to create the right atmosphere that we are ready and sharp in our brain and sharp in our actions. I think this is very important, we have to show our supporters that we are the number one in this city. I think we have right now, the chance for that and we have many things in our hands, but we have to prepare a very professional match plan to help us, give us a tool in the hands that has big leverage in the game. This is my responsibility, and, in the end, we need the boys they are sharp like a knife on this day and handle a flexible opponent, also in a flexible way to press in different moments with a different knife, hopefully, and then I can feel, we have in the end the right performance and right result."

Defender Tom Edwards, fresh after serving his suspension from yellow card accumulation, talked about the expected atmosphere of the New York Derby and playing it at Red Bull Arena...

"Yeah, so back home, I played in quite a few derbies [with Stoke] and the atmosphere is unbelievable. That is what you expect from any Derby in the world, it is a massive game for the club, for the fans, and everyone who supports the team. So, I have spoken to the boys here as well and they have mentioned to me, especially people like Sean Davis how big this game is and Aaron Long. They have mentioned it to me a few times leading up to this game and I take every game like it is a Derby anyway. I treat a game with 100% and that is what I am going to do if I get a chance again this weekend.

Yeah, we are going to make sure that they feel like they are at our stadium, and it is not another home game for them. We are going to make it as tough as possible for them. We will be confident, and we will have a lot of fans cheering us on. It should be a good atmosphere for it, but it is just to make sure they do feel like it is an away game and they do not feel like they have a step on us and think it is a home game."

Finally, goalkeeper Carlos Coronel briefly spoke about the events in Montréal, whether he's taken part in a Derby match similar to this one, and his recent clean sheet against Columbus...

"No, I hadn’t experienced it. I remember one time, the penalty had to be repeated one more time because I stepped out of my area, but three times it was the first time. Definitely, it was a very strange moment, but yeah it was the first time. I’ve experienced it with Salzburg, to play derbies. Of course, these are special, different games, where you want to win and be the best. For the club and the fans, it’s a very important game too.

I’ve watched several on the internet, like the best New York Derbies, so I could better understand the environment, how these matches play out. I noticed that this is a tough Derby, and I also watched the 7-0 because it was a big result. When you see that, it’s very gratifying, especially for the fans. It’s a record that the Red Bulls have completed and watching the highlights provoked in me a lot of pride to know that we have that.

Of course, it makes me very happy with everything that happened in the last game. I think I played a really good game, but of course, I have to highlight the team effort during the whole game. I think against Columbus, we let them generate some opportunities that we will need to fix ahead of our next game. We worked yesterday and we’ll work today. And yeah [picking up clean sheets] gives us a lot of confidence when we play at home because we play in our stadium with our fans. We play better and have a lot of confidence, and these two will be important for Saturday’s Derby."

Prospective Starting XI:

New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Andrew Gutman, Amro Tarek, Sean Nealis, Andrés Reyes, Kyle Duncan, Sean Davis, John Tolkin, Wiki Carmona, Fábio, Patryk Klimala

New York City FC: Sean Johnson, Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Malte Amundsen, James Sands, Nicolás Acevedo, Ismael Tajouri, Jesús Medina, Santiago Rodríguez, Valentín Castellanos

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