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Playoff Destiny is Officially in the Hands of the Red Bulls

Photo by Matt Kremkau

By Daniel Feuerstein

And now the moment has finally arrived. After all the trials and tribulations, the New York Red Bulls have taken it all the way to the final match of the regular season, as decision day will show if they will take this moment and cross over that playoff line. For the majority of this season, the New York Red Bulls have been squirming behind the eight ball, hoping to create a long fruitful winning streak which hasn't come at all in league play, until the final matches on their schedule. 

There was a blip on the radar when Inter Miami and Charlotte FC had to reschedule their league game due to Inter Miami playing in the Leagues Cup final, and without Lionel Messi who was returning from World Cup Qualifying with Argentina, not suited up, it would be a late equalizer from Robbie Robinson being in a Leo Campana cross to share the points to force the Queen City club to join the pack with the Red Bulls and Chicago Fire, along with an eliminated DC United at 40 point.s.

The situation is very clear for the Red Bulls. Win and you are in. But here are the scenarios with the other matches going on simultaneously. At 6:00 PM Eastern time Montreal in eighth place and 41 Points will travel at the Columbus Crew, the Red Bulls will finish off their regular season at Nashville SC, Chicago Fire will be in Queens against NYCFC & Charlotte FC will host Inter Miami. For the Red Bulls to secure the eighth spot and host the Wild Card game, Montreal must lose or draw at the Crew.

You also have to hope Chicago Loses or draws in Queens, while Charlotte FC loses or draws at home against Inter Miami, and with Lionel Messi who looked good against Peru during their World Cup Qualifier and scored both goals, it looks like Charlotte will have a full crowd seeing the greatest footballer in the world. But if the Red Bulls draw they need a lot of help with certain results from the other games as well. 

Make no mistake everyone, the Red Bulls once again got themselves into this position by winning three of their last four games, we all know the loss to the Chicago Fire at home was a big stinker, but two consecutive road wins at DC United & at FC Cincinnati along with the home win against Toronto FC, and the shear luck of Charlotte losing two points in Miami has once again put them into this position for the possibility to qualify for a fourteenth consecutive time into the postseason. 

Without a doubt, this 2023 season has been one of the craziest seasons this club has ever performed in. Their two worst seasons were in 1999 and 2009, only recently they have been fluctuating trying to remain in a playoff spot, until this season. They are on their last gasp of air trying to put their heads above water. To be honest I never thought they were going to be in this position at all, but here they are. Getting ready for one more big moment against a team that has already clinched a playoff birth and trying to finish on a flourish.

I don't know what Nashville SC Head Coach Gary Smith will do, maybe he will give some of his big named players a break throughout the match and allow his reserves some playing time, but we all know what Troy Lesesne will do. He will go all out and grab the full three points to complete his mission. Gettnig back to the postseason with all the glory in the world. 


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