Tomorrow, the New York Red Bulls will take on the Montreal Impact in an important Eastern Conference showdown. The two clubs, even on points in the table (NY has the advantage thanks to goal differential), sit 3rd and 4th in the conference with 33 points apiece.
With the regular season coming to a close, both have a shot at still winning the Supporter’s Shield, only 4 points behind New York City FC. The Red Bulls, unbeaten since July 3rd, have gone 3-4-0 in their last seven games. The Impact haven’t been quite as successful, though have been improving as of late, with two wins and a draw in their last 3 matches.
For the Red Bulls, who have been with a bit of an injury bug in recent weeks, it will be imperative to keep the Impact’s productivity on offense to a minimum. Everyone knows the effect Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba can have on opposing teams, and the Red Bulls will be focused on stopping them Saturday.
Midfielder Sean Davis, who scored his first career MLS goal last weekend against the LA Galaxy, said of Montreal “They have a lot of dangerous players and we all know that, and we need to keep an eye on guys that we need to defend against, because they can change the game at any moment.”
Another danger for New York will be defender Laurent Ciman, who started for Belgium during Euro 2016. He has quickly become one of the top defenders in the league since joining Montreal a few years ago, and Red Bull’s head coach Jesse Marsch is fully aware of the threat he poses. “For me the defender of the year is Ciman…One of the keys with him is not allowing him to be comfortable. Don’t let him pick us apart when we attack, don’t let him try to dispossess the ball away from us….it’s part of our game plan to make it hard for him and don’t let him go into a comfort zone.”
In what should be a packed Red Bull arena, look for New York to continue their hot streak in an effort to catch rivals NYCFC.