The New York Red Bulls took care of business last week. Two goals in the first leg, away from home, and now they return to Red Bull Arena Wednesday night looking to advance to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.
The Red Bulls took care of business quite easily in the first leg as they dominated the majority of the game. An own goal in the first half and a second half tally by Danny Royer was all that was needed to put RBNY in the driver’s seat.
Marc Rzatkowski stood out in the midfield. His creativity and ability to pick out teammates all game long helped create the team’s second goal. Alex Muyl, Kaku, and Royer also had strong showings in the first leg as well.
Now RBNY return back to Red Bull Arena where they only allowed one goal in their CCL run last year. Anchored by the center back pairing of Aaron Long and Tim Parker, the defense limited Atlético Pantoja to no shots on target and very little going forward in the first leg. Kemar Lawrence made his return to the team entering the match as a halftime sub. It will be interesting to see if he’s in the starting lineup on Wednesday.
If there’s any indication about where the teams priorities lie as far as competitions go this year, RBNY head coach Chris Armas gave a straightforward response on Monday at media day saying that CCL is their priority and they’re not winning MLS Cup in February.
With their MLS opener on Saturday against the Columbus Crew, Armas could choose to rotate his squad for this game but based on his response it’s more likely to be a team similar to last week.
Photo by Steve Hamlin