MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 4 – RBNY striker makes history

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Draws were a common theme in a muted round of fixtures during Week 4. Despite four of the six games ending with teams sharing the spoils, there were still plenty of goals and exciting attacking play. New York Red Bulls will feel they had the best result of the week, with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Minnesota. At the heart of that attacking display was Mr Reliable, Bradley Wright-Phillips. He bagged himself a brace in a typically calm performance and that’s why he is the MLSGB Attacking Player of the Week.

BWP was in fine form in front of goal, scoring one in each half, putting his side third in the Eastern Conference. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Englishman during his time in MLS. However, those two goals mean he has scored more goals than any player in MLS history over a five-year span.

The forward needed just three shots on goal for his brace. He fell short in some of the other areas of his performance in terms of pass completion, but that won’t be much of a concern to the RBNY fans.

Wright-Phillips took his goal tally to three for the season. He laid on just the one chance for his teammates during his 81 minutes on the field.

It was a game of clinical finishing for BWP, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. He took his second goal in some style, showing great composure under pressure.

Don’t miss: MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 4

It’s already proving to be a very competitive battle in the Eastern Conference. With quite a few surprise results already being thrown into the mix, the pressure is going to be on forwards like Wright-Phillips to take the chances they are provided with.

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English striker poised to join the MLS 100 Club in 2018

Major League Soccer is back. Week One is in the books and there have been plenty of talking points, with 26 goals scored and five red cards in ten games. But one familiar face was missing from the action as Bradley Wright-Phillips and his New York Red Bulls team’s first game of the season isn’t until this coming weekend.

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers – Saturday March 10 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

As RBNY prepare to get their 2018 MLS campaign underway the pressure will be ramping up on goal-machine BWP. A lot is going to be expected from him this season due to some key creative players departing the club this winter, such as Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan. Wright-Phillips will be looking forward to getting going and will be hoping to get off the mark straight away.

The Englishman won’t be looking into personal records too much, but he will be aware that he is closing in on 100 MLS goals, which will no doubt give him an added hunger to hit the ground running.

So how has BWP performed since joining RBNY in 2013?

The stats make for promising reading for both BWP breaking the record and for RBNY to have another positive season. Since joining in 2013 they have made the postseason every year. In a total of 154 games he has found the net 95 times for Red Bulls, with 86 of them coming in regular season play.

His goalscoring form over the last four seasons has been consistent. In 2013 he only featured in seven regular season games, hence the apparent low-scoring campaign. His 2014 tally of 27 saw him join the record books for the joint most goals in a single regular season, becoming the only non-US player to achieve that feat.

With the above stats in mind, ‘BWP’ needs just 14 regular season goals – or five goals if you count postseason stats – to notch his 100th, which based on his stats in each of his full seasons, he looks poised to achieve. Over the past four regular season campaigns he has averaged 21.25 goals per season.

So long as Wright-Phillips keeps to his consistent performances he will join the MLS 100 Club in 2018. But his main aim will be to continue to fight for an MLS Cup, something he is yet to achieve as he prepares to get underway for his sixth MLS season.

Will BWP net his 100th MLS goal this season and help RBNY to reach the playoffs again?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls

Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls

BMO Field – Saturday, September 30 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – NY Red Bulls 9/2

Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls: Preview

Toronto FC welcome the New York Red Bulls to BMO Field on Saturday evening, looking to end their two-game losing streak and secure a first Supporters’ Shield title.

The Reds need three points to guarantee a top-placed finish after an excellent season. They have looked vulnerable in their past two games, but the absences of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco are valid excuses for those defeats.

Toronto are on 62 points, seven in front of NYCFC coming into the weekend. They need to reach 65 points to guarantee the Supporters’ Shield win, but they could still wrap up the win regardless, depending on NYCFC and Atlanta’s results on Saturday.

via @TorontoFC on Twitter

What is clear is that Toronto have been the best side in MLS this season. They are heading into the playoffs as the team to beat and will be looking to go one further than last year’s heartbreaking penalty shootout loss.

The Red Bulls can’t make any postseason plans until they knuckle down and secure their spot. They’ve not won in nine-straight MLS outings and have seemingly been doing all they can to let those in behind put pressure on.

Wednesday night’s 3-3 draw with DC United was a prime example of what’s gone wrong for the Red Bulls in recent weeks. They came back to lead 3-2 heading into the final minutes, but a Fidel Escobar own goal in stoppage time saw the game end 3-3.

Jesse Marsch’s men are still four points clear of Montreal coming into the weekend. They should be able to wrap up a top six finish, especially with back-to-back home games coming up after Saturday’s trip to Toronto.

But the worry is that they have no real form to be optimistic about if they do indeed lock down their playoff spot. They still have four regular season games to play though. The job will now be to start performing better at a pivotal stage of the campaign.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season. They shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena back in May. Toronto haven’t won any of their last three games against the Red Bulls.

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Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls: Team News

Toronto are set to still be without Benoit Cheyrou, although Greg Vanney has said he may have a fully fit squad to choose from. That should mean Jozy Altidore and Nick Hagglund return, with Sebastian Giovinco a doubt.

The New York Red Bulls received a boost on Wednesday as Daniel Royer made his long-awaited return from injury. But Aurelien Collin is still out, while Gideon Baah is out for the season. The same applies for Mike Grella, who won’t play again in 2017. Gonzalo Veron will be pushing for a start after making a positive impact off the bench on Wednesday.

Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls: Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/D/L/L/D

Key Stat: Toronto have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. They haven’t lost three consecutive MLS games since the end of the 2015 season.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – If the Red Bulls are to get three points here, they’ll need BWP to be on song. He has scored in his last two away games and will be confident given Toronto’s recent defensive lapses.

Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls: Prediction

Toronto FC 2-2 New York Red Bulls – The last two games between these two have ended all square. We see that trend continuing on Saturday evening. Toronto still need three points to guarantee the Supporters’ Shield title, and they will want to prevent a three-game losing streak as the playoffs edge closer. The Red Bulls need to try and secure their playoff spot. They have been struggling of late and haven’t been able to pick up wins. A point at BMO Field would be a positive result, with back-to-back home games coming up next.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls

Major League Soccer: FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls

Toyota Stadium – Saturday, September 2nd – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

Match Odds: FC Dallas 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – NY Red Bulls 9/4

FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls: Preview

FC Dallas host the New York Red Bulls in a key battle between two underperforming sides on Saturday night. Over the past two seasons, Dallas and the Red Bulls have won their respective conferences. But this year, they’re facing a battle just to make the top six.

Dallas have finished the past two seasons with 60 points. They need to win eight of their last nine games to match that total again this year. They were expected to lead the West again this season but it’s not gone to plan.

FC Dallas are winless in six and have slid down the West into seventh place ahead of the weekend. They do have games in hand on sides above them but they must put an end to their slump quickly if they are to make the playoffs.

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International call-ups have decimated Oscar Pareja’s squad ahead of Saturday’s game, doing little to improve their chances of picking up a first win in seven.

The Red Bulls arrive in a stronger position than the hosts. But only slightly. They come into the weekend with 39 points and sit fifth in the East. They have games in hand over all four sides in front of them but are unlikely to get anywhere near league leaders Toronto.

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Jesse Marsch’s side have had an inconsistent season. They posted a 7-8-2 record through the first half of the season. They have won five of their last eight but come into Saturday’s game off the back of two winless outings. A 2-0 loss in Portland was followed by a 1-1 draw to New York City FC last weekend.

This will be the only regular season meeting between the two this season. It’s unclear whether they’ll even have the chance to face off in the playoffs at this stage. But both know they need to go for all three points here.

FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls: Team News

FC Dallas have a host of regular starters away on international duty. Kellyn Acosta and Matt Hedges are with the USA. Tesho Akindele is with Canada, Maynor Figueroa is with Honduras and Carlos Gruezo is with Ecuador. Playmaker Mauro Diaz is listed as ‘questionable’ as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

New York Red Bulls remain without Mike Grella, Gideon Baah and Daniel Royer. Aurelien Collin is a doubt as he continue to deal with a heel injury. International call-ups won’t hurt the Red Bulls as much as Dallas. But Kemar Lawrence is away with Jamaica, while Michael Murillo and Fidel Escobar are with Panama. Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan, Sean Davis and Felipe are all one booking away from suspension and need to watch their step.

FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls: Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/D/L/D/L

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: FC Dallas haven’t beaten the Red Bulls in five years, losing three of their last four without finding the net in any of those games. Their last win over the Red Bulls came on the opening day of the 2012 season, as they won 2-1 at Toyota Stadium.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – It’s difficult to highlight anyone other than BWP as the key man here. He has 14 goals in 24 games this season and won’t have given up on catching top scorer David Villa yet. He will look to close that five-goal gap at Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

FC Dallas vs New York Red Bulls: Prediction

FC Dallas 0-2 New York Red Bulls – FC Dallas are in trouble. They haven’t won in six and are missing key players as a result of international call-ups. The Red Bulls are in better shape but still have work to do to cement a playoff spot. They haven’t lost to Dallas since 2012 and will be looking for their fifth-straight clean sheet against the Texans here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Red Bull Arena – Friday, August 25 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – NYCFC 13/5

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Preview

The New York Red Bulls face New York City FC on Friday night in their third and final New York Derby clash of the 2017 regular season. NYCFC have already claimed the series but don’t expect that to lead to any less drama in Friday’s battle.

The New York Red Bulls won the first four New York derbies – including that famous 7-0 thrashing at Yankee Stadium in 2016 – but have lost three of their last four in MLS since. They have lost both games this season and must avoid a third-straight defeat here.

Last Friday’s 2-0 defeat in Portland saw them lose just their second MLS game in seven. However, they had played 120 minutes in the US Open Cup semifinal win at FC Cincinnati three days earlier.

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The Red Bulls come into Friday’s game in good form. They know the pressure is on them to get revenge over NYCFC. Apart from securing bragging rights, they can move up to joint-third with Chicago Fire with a win, at least until the Fire play on Saturday night.

New York City FC know that they must complete a treble over their neighbours to keep pace with Toronto FC at the top of the East. The visitors are seven points behind Toronto but have a game in hand over the league leaders.

NYCFC have proven a more resilient side this season. They have developed a clinical edge and have perhaps surprised the Red Bulls by winning the past two derby clashes.

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The series is already tied up for the season. NYCFC have claimed their first series win over the Red Bulls. But don’t think that will stop them going for victory on Friday night. Their fans and their players will be desperate to complete a hat-trick of league wins over their rivals, especially with the game being played at Red Bull Arena.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Team News

The Red Bulls are likely to be without Daniel Royer once again. The winger hyperextended his knee in the latest New York Derby three weeks ago and has yet to return. Aurelian Collin is a doubt but could yet make the starting lineup. Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season. Summer signing Muhamed Keita could be ready to make an impact off the bench, according to Jesse Marsch.

New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira will have to cope without Yangel Herrera. He is suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation. Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo and Maxime Chanot are all sidelined through injury. Alexander Ring and Ethan White will return after serving suspensions against the Revs last weekend.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/L/W/L

NYCFC’s last five: W/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have scored 12 goals in their last three home games since being shutout and losing to NYCFC in June, winning all three games.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – To score two goals in a derby game and not be the best player on the pitch is rare. But that’s exactly what happened to BWP in the 3-2 loss at NYCFC three weeks ago, as David Villa fired in a match-winning hat-trick. However, Wright-Phillips now has ten goals in eight MLS games against NYCFC. If anyone is likely to grab this game by the scruff of the neck, it’s the Englishman.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-2 New York City FC – Goals are expected in Friday’s game. The New York Derby has quickly established itself as one of the most ferocious and exciting rivalries in MLS. Expect that trend to continue here, even with the series already wrapped up. Both sides are in good form and are looking to stay at the top end of the East. However, they look set to cancel each other out here. The Red Bulls can’t afford to drop a third-straight game to their rivals. But NYCFC have proven they are a tough unit to break down this season. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, July 29th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Montreal Impact 9/2

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Preview

New York Red Bulls host Montreal Impact on Saturday night, looking to make it four successive MLS wins. The home side are in good form and will still have their eye on things at the top of the Eastern Conference. Even if there are four teams above them heading into the weekend.

Jesse Marsch’s side sit fifth coming into this one. They are eight points below league-leading Toronto FC, but have played one game less than the Canadian side.

The Red Bulls steamrolled Minnesota United 3-0 last weekend. They have now won five games in succession in all competitions and look to have hit their stride at the perfect time.

That will be a worry for a Montreal Impact team that have been inconsistent all season. The Impact fell 2-1 at home to FC Dallas last week and are down in 9th place in the East.

Montreal haven’t won back-to-back MLS games for two months and are really struggling to build momentum. They know a playoff spot is still in question. But they need to dramatically improve to secure a top six finish in a competitive East.

This will be the second meeting between the pair this season. The Impact sealed a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo in June to make it three-straight wins against the Red Bulls.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Team News

New York Red Bulls: Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season with a broken leg and knee injury, respectively. Aurelien Collin is a doubt with a hamstring problem. New loan signing Fidel Escobar might be in line to start at centre-back.

Montreal Impact: Ambroise Oyongo is ruled out with a knee problem, which is expected to have ended his season. Victor Cabrera is listed as questionable.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/W/W/W

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/W/L/W/L

Key Stat: Montreal have won the last three meetings between the pair, with each victory coming by a solitary goal.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – Wright-Phillips has scored six in his last eight games and is in a fine run of form. The Red Bulls will be hoping he can continue to lead the attack with goals on Saturday.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Montreal Impact – The Red Bulls are historically solid at home and have only lost twice at Red Bull Arena so far this season. Montreal’s lack of consistency makes the Red Bulls strong favourites and we can’t see any other outcome than a home win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, June 24 – 13:30 ET (18:30 BST)
Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 5/6 – Draw 13/5 – NYCFC 14/5

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host New York City FC in the first New York Derby of the 2017 MLS season on Saturday afternoon in one of the standout fixtures of Heineken MLS Rivalry Week.

The Red Bulls come into Saturday’s game off the back of a solid 2-0 win at Philadelphia Union last weekend. They come into this clash in fifth place, just four points behind NYCFC who sit third in the Eastern Conference.

The home side know they are the favourites here, given their impressive record over their noisy neighbours over the past two seasons. They have won all three MLS games at home to New York City to date, including a 1-0 victory 12 months ago in the only regular season battle in New Jersey.

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The added boost for the Red Bulls is that their last game on home soil saw them beat NYCFC less than two weeks ago in the US Open Cup. They have only lost once at home all season and are expected to put the visitors to the sword again here.


DON’T MISS: Join us for Heineken Rivalry Week’s MLS London Viewing Party – Featuring special guest Frank Lampard!


But New York City have the advantage of coming into the game four points clear of their rivals and in good form themselves. Patrick Vieira’s men came from behind to beat Seattle Sounders 2-1 last weekend and are now unbeaten in three-straight league games.

The worry for the visitors is that their away form isn’t all that impressive. They have lost three of their last four away from Yankee Stadium – including that Open Cup defeat – and have won just one away game since April.

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If either side can take all three points from this one, they will put themselves in a really strong position to kick on and challenge for the Supporters’ Shield over the second-half of the campaign. There has yet to ever be a draw between the two rivals.

This will be actually be the third meeting between the two clubs in 2017, but the first in Major League Soccer. As well as their cup battle this month, the pair met in the Desert Diamond Cup during preseason preparations, with a Sacha Kljestan brace enough to see the Red Bulls win 2-0 on that occasion.

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Team News

New York Red Bulls have had to prepare for this huge game without head coach Jesse Marsch, as he has been in Poland, continuing work on his UEFA Pro Licence Course. Gideon Baah remains the only long-term absentee for the Red Bulls on the field, while Connor Lade and Mike Grella are doubts but are officially listed as ‘probable’.

New York City FC travel to Red Bull Arena without three key players as Ronald Matarrita, Maxi Moralez and Khiry Shelton are all ruled out with injuries. Ethan White is one booking away from suspension and will need to watch his step.

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ form: L/D/W/L/W

NYCFC’s form: W/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Including their US Open Cup win less than two weeks ago, the New York Red Bulls have beaten New York City in all four of their clashes at Red Bull Arena to date, outscoring their local rivals 9-2 in that time.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls star striker has started to find some form, having scored four in his last four MLS outings. He netted his first brace of the season in last weekend’s 2-0 win at Philadelphia and has a great goalscoring record against NYCFC in MLS. He has played in every Hudson River Derby to date, scoring eight goals in six games against Saturday’s visitors.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 New York City FC – This is a big game for both sides but injuries to key players means NYCFC’s chances of getting their first points away at their local rivals is unlikely. They still have the attacking quality to hurt the Red Bulls but ultimately, the home side’s strong form in this rivalry is poised to continue.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, March 25 – 16:00 ET (20:00 GMT)
Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 3/1 – Real Salt Lake 11/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Real Salt Lake to Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon in one of just three MLS fixtures this weekend due to the international break.

Jesse Marsch’s side are sitting third in the Eastern Conference having won two of their three games so far this season. They come into this one off the back of their first loss of the regular season away at Seattle.

Red Bulls are traditionally slow starters but their performances in their first two games this season showed exactly what they’re about, winning at any cost. Marsch will be hoping it doesn’t take too long before his offence get firing on all cylinders.

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Real Salt Lake are yet to win a game this season and have sacked Jeff Cassar as a result. They are sitting second bottom in the Western Conference and already look they’re in for a tough campaign.

Daryl Shore will serve as Interim Head Coach. He joined Salt Lake in January 2014 as a Goalkeeper Coach, but this will be his first game in charge of an MLS fixture.

RSL have been struggling in front of goal so far this season, scoring just once in their three games. They have a squad plagued with injury and know this is going to be a difficult trip to a RBNY side who don’t take any prisoners at home.

RSL celebrate their goal in the 2-1 defeat to LA Galaxy last weekend. Picture: RSL.com

Team News

Sacha Kljestan and Michael Murillo are on international duty so are unavailable for selection for Red Bulls. Gonzalo Veron, Gideon Baah and Connor Lade are all sidelined through injury.

Kyle Beckerman will miss this one as he serves a one-game suspension for the red card picked up against LA Galaxy last week. Nick Rimando and Albert Rusnak have both been called up for international duty. Joao Plata and Jordan Allen are both out, while Aaron Maund, Justen Glad and David Horst are all questionable, leaving the RSL roster thin on the ground for this game.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls form: W/W/L

Real Salt Lake form: D/L/L

Key stat: Real Salt Lake have lost their last seven away games.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The New York Red Bulls forward got off the mark last weekend in the loss to Seattle and this is a game he should be looking to open his account in at Red Bull Arena.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-0 Real Salt Lake – It’s difficult to see anything other than a comfortable win for Red Bulls in this one given the strength of their home form and how stretched Real Salt Lake’s roster is. RSL are going to need to pick up a win sooner rather than later otherwise they’re at risk of a torrid campaign, but this game doesn’t look likely to provide their first three points of the season.

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Competition: MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal (Second-Leg) – New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, November 5 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Montreal 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome the Montreal Impact to Red Bull Arena for the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal showdown on Sunday evening. The Impact lead 1-0 from last Sunday’s first leg but know they have a lot to do if they are to advance to the Conference Finals.

The pressure is on the Red Bulls here. They failed to score in an MLS game for the first time since July in last weekend’s defeat but know they have more than enough quality to win this game.

Jesse Marsch guided his side to the top of the Eastern Conference over the course of the regular season and they will expect to live up to their billing as top seed in the East with a victory here.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Red Bulls Celebrate

They have an incredibly strong home record but need to make sure they don’t chase the result too quickly here, as the Impact will set up to hit them on the counter in the hope of scoring some valuable away goals.

Montreal enter the game knowing they need to avoid defeat by more than one goal to stand a strong chance of advancing on Sunday night. A draw would be enough to see them through and so they may set up to defend deep and try and frustrate the Red Bulls here.

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They played well last Sunday and if they can repeat that performance here, they will have a Conference Final to prepare for.

The Red Bulls beat Montreal in both of their regular season clashes at Red Bull Arena this season and remarkably have still have never lost at home to the Impact in any competition (W7 D1).

Team News

The Red Bulls remain without Gideon Baah and Connor Lade for Sunday’s game but Jesse Marsch isn’t expected to make too many changes, if any, from last week’s first-leg loss. Gonzalo Veron is pushing for a start after coming off the bench last Sunday.

Montreal have two injuries of their own, with Andres Romero and Didier Drogba both sidelined. Drogba hasn’t played for a month but Matteo Mancosu has been deputising well, scoring the only goal last weekend following a brace against DC on the final day of the regular season. Mauro Biello isn’t expected to make any changes for the second leg.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five: W/D/L/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have not lost a home game in seven months. They are currently unbeaten in 17 home games in all competitions, and enter Sunday’s game off the back of four-straight victories at Red Bull Arena.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The 2016 Golden Boot winner had scored in three consecutive games before last week’s 1-0 loss in the first leg. But he always tends to play better at home and has scored three in his last two at Red Bull Arena. The home side will look to BWP for inspiration in such a crucial fixture.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Montreal Impact – Goals are expected in Sunday’s second-leg clash, but the pressure is on the hosts to deliver as the top seed in the East. The Red Bulls are a real force at home and should be able to win this match. The issue will be whether or not they can keep a clean-sheet, as any away goals scored by Montreal could be the deciding factor here. Ultimately, we expect the Red Bulls to advance in what should be an excellent game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome New York Red Bulls to Talen Energy Stadium, with the away side on the verge of being named Eastern Conference winners.

The Union haven’t had a lot to shout about in recent weeks. They haven’t won in six but the good news is that they should squeak into the playoffs.

Philadelphia are sitting 6th in the East and it would require a 13 goal swing for 7th placed New England to take that place, which on the face of it, sounds impossible.

Jim Curtin will be gunning for his side to put an end to their winless run, finish the season on a high and go into the playoffs with optimism.

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

New York Red Bulls task is simple, avoid a 13 goal swing and they will be named winners of the conference. The squad will be focused on winning the game and finishing the regular season unbeaten in 16.

Bradley Wright-Phillips will be hoping his teammates provide him with the service to fend off David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot.

Red Bulls come into this one having won 3-2 against Crew, they had been three goals to the good, so Jesse Marsch will want a tighter defensive display this weekend.

RBNY’s unbeaten run has been extremely impressive, they will be going into the playoffs full of confidence and ready to take on anyone.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Red Bulls Celebrate

Team News

Philadelphia have just the two injury concerns as there are questions about the fitness of both Josh Yaro and Warren Creavalle.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all expected to be out.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/L/D/L/L

Red Bulls’ last five: D/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Unbeaten run – New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 15 regular season outings.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – BWP is leading the way to win the MLS Golden Boot by one goal. His rival forward Villa has been challenging him all season. All BWP needs to do is play his usual game and the goals will come, he will not put himself before the team for the sake of the record. It is going to be a huge theme of decision day.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-2 New York Red Bulls – Philadelphia Union’s winless run to extend to seven. They face a Red Bulls side who just don’t look like losing at the moment. Both of these sides will already have an eye on the playoffs. A Union win and results in their favour could see them move up to 5th, but a close loss seems a likely result.