The New York Red Bulls are on the brink of their 100th home win in the Red Bull Arena era. The team could be celebrating this milestone in a matter of weeks. Sacha Kljestan and a desperate Orlando City SC kept the celebration at bay with a one-goal shut out.
It is too soon to say whether the sky is falling for the season. Passionate fans may cry out for solutions, but overall the team does not see much in the way of a problem. “Coming out of this game, there’s no real concerns,” said manager Chris Armas following the match. Certainly having starters back from international duty will help when facing the Chicago Fire, who are winless so far this season. However, here are some suggestions in order to prepare for the next clash. Facing another squad desperate for a win, and this time on their home pitch, can prove an even greater challenge.
INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS: STAY HEALTHY
When and if available, club fans will tune in to watch their players compete on the international level. RBNY starters Aaron Long, Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Kemar Lawrence, and Michael Murillo are representing the United States, Paraguay, Jamaica, and Panama, respectively. The last thing anyone wants to see is any of those players stay down following a rough tackle or other serious knock. Stay healthy, and return to the club ready to get back to league play.
KYLE DUNCAN: FOCUS ON CONSISTENCY
With Lawrence out between injury and international duty, Kyle Duncan has had ample opportunity to make his comeback from a season-ending injury. And while he has made a number of runs and started the press up the field, he has also turned over the ball in the defensive third and left opponents unmarked. This is something that comes with minutes on the field, but starts at the training facility.
SEAN DAVIS: NEVER BE INVISIBLE
All roads on matchday go through Sean Davis. His central midfielder position drives the high press and feeds attackers like Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer. But for every time that the side channels are utilized to bring the ball forward, Davis has to be available at least as often to avoid turnovers and create space. A midfield conduit for captain Luis Robles, Davis knows his value; his focus needs to be on making his presence known and feared throughout the league.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography