It’s Decision Day for New York Red Bulls as they go for their third Supporters Shield in four seasons with only a depressing Orlando City SC team standing in their way. The team captained by former Red Bulls skipper Sacha Kljestan, was supposed to be one of the top teams in the league. It was built to win now with a head coach, Jason Kreis, that was looking to prove his NYCFC disaster was behind him. Now, both teams sit in diametrically different places.
Preview: Kljestan Looks to Spoil Party
“If I was him, I’d be trying to win too,” said Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips about Kljestan. “Their season hasn’t been great so they’re going to have to get something out of here. For him, that would be a big accomplishment to stop us winning the Shield. I don’t see him playing any other way.”
Orlando showed a brief heartbeat with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew last weekend. However, they had failed to win any games over the past three months, leaving them as one of the worst teams in the history of the league. They are in a prime position to be a stepping stone to another regular season title for New York but as we’ve seen in the past, these kinds of games aren’t so easy for the Red Bulls.
Head coach Chris Armas has only the need to motivate his side heading into the weekend. The team’s form has been phenomenal, passing the league’s win mark with a chance to break the point record as well. The team will need help from Atlanta as well. The first place team in the league will need to grab points to hold New York at bay.
Still, the topic of conversation still sits on Kljestan and what could have been in Orlando:
“Of course he wants to win,” said Armas. “Of course he wants to spoil things for us and we want to play against Sacha. We’ll look forward to playing against him and we hope to get his best and he knows that we’ll have to prepare for him too, specifically.”
PROJECTED STARTING XI:
New York Red Bulls: Robles; Murillo, Parker, Long, Lawrence, Adams, Davis, Muyl, Gamarra, Royer, Wright-Phillips
Orlando City SC: Bendik; O’Neill, Sane, Ascues, Sutter, Rossell, Yotun, El-Munir, Johnson, Dwyer, Kljestan
Where to Watch: Sunday (Oct. 28) at 4:30PM on MSG Network