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

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal – First Leg) Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Stade Saputo – Sunday, October 30th – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome New York Red Bulls to Stade Saputo for the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal clash in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.

This is a huge tie for Montreal, who desperately need to put an end to the Red Bulls’ incredible run of form to give them any chance of reaching the Eastern Conference final.

Mauro Biello will be feeling ecstatic at how his Montreal side demolished DC 4-2 in the Knockout Round on Thursday evening, but he will be slightly frustrated at the way they conceded two very late goals.

The only meeting between these two in Montreal during the regular season ended with a 3-0 win for the Impact. They would definitely take a repeat of that scoreline, but this is going to be a very cagey contest, with both sides looking to ensure there’s still all to play for in the return leg in a week’s time.

Embed from Getty Images

Eastern Conference winners, New York Red Bulls eased past Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season to earn a bye through the Knockout Round. They have had extra time to prepare for this game and should be firing on all cylinders.

Jesse Marsch will have his side pumped and ready to take on Montreal and will be urging them to remember form means nothing when it comes to games as important as this.

The Red Bulls have beaten Impact in their last two meetings, although both of those games were at Red Bull Arena, so they will be expecting a hostile atmosphere here.

If New York keep a clean sheet in this tie you have to fancy them to progress in the second-leg. Montreal know they have to take a lead to Red Bull Arena, so the visitors may well have a slightly more cautious approach this weekend, although an away goal would certainly be a boost.

Embed from Getty Images

Montreal were eliminated from the playoffs last season at this very stage, despite winning their home tie in the first-leg, so they can take nothing for granted against a very strong opponent on Sunday evening.

Team News

Andres Romero remains Montreal Impact’s only injury concern. It remains to be seen whether Didier Drogba will return to the side following his soap opera saga in the last few weeks. He sat out of Thursday’s win over DC, with Matteo Mancosu shining up front in the Ivorian’s absence.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four for this tie as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all out. Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips will be looking to continue his fine form here.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: W/W/D/L/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 16 MLS outings.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The obvious choice. Montreal Impact need their midfield maestro to be on top form to take a lead into the second leg. He can change a game in a flash and will need to be at his creative best once again here.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 New York Red Bulls – This has the makings of a tight game, as most first legs do. Montreal are going to find the confident Red Bulls difficult to deal with and a draw would be an unsurprising result, but would certainly suit the visitors better.

Advertisements

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.  

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, September 24 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – Montreal 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Montreal Impact to Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening in a crunch tie above the red line in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls are sitting 2nd in the East on 45 points ahead of this tie. They are seven points off the pace in the race for the Supporters’ Shield but will still be looking to contend until winning the silverware is not mathematically possible.

Jesse Marsch’s side trail top spot in the East by two points but have played a game more than leaders Toronto. They can book their playoff place for the 7th consecutive season with a win over Montreal here.

RBNY come into this one after that thrilling 3-3 draw away at Toronto. A great one for the neutrals but disappointing for the Red Bulls as they were leading 3-1.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Red Bulls players

Montreal Impact are sitting 5th in the East and if results go their way this weekend they could move up to 4th. They need to avoid defeat here to ensure they’re not dragged into a dogfight for a playoff finish.

The Impact are four points above the red line but as we know an advantage can quickly fall from under your feet in MLS.

Mauro Biello’s side face a very tough challenge to take all three points here, they’re up against a Red Bulls side who are unbeaten in their last 12 regular season outings.

Montreal come into this tie having lost 3-1 at home to New England, a game that extended their winless run to three. Impact have a very tough run in, so a draw would be a positive result here, giving them good grounding to push on with confidence.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Team News

New York Red Bulls have four injury concerns heading into this tie as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade and Ronald Zubar are all expected to be out, while Omer Damari is a doubt.

Andres Romero remains the only player out for Montreal Impact.

Key Points

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

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

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 12 regular season matches.

Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder maestro has been a consistent performer all season. He has netted five times and racked up an impressive 13 assists.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo Sacha Kljestan

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Montreal Impact – New York Red Bulls have been in incredible form of late, they have won nine of their last 11 games at Red Bull Arena and they will fancy their chances of continuing their unbeaten run here. Montreal have both the players and ability to trouble any side in MLS, but this is going to be an incredibly tough tie.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, September 3 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – Red Bulls 7/4

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps welcome New York Red Bulls to BC Place on Saturday evening in one of just six games this weekend.

Vancouver are sitting 9th in the Western Conference heading into this tie, four points behind the top six, they have a lot of work to do to stand any chance of finishing above the red line this season.

The Whitecaps come into this one off the back of their 0-0 away draw against LA, ending a four-game losing streak.

Vancouver haven’t won in their last seven regular season ties, and worryingly for them they have picked up just three points from a possible 21.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2016

New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last nine Major League Soccer outings. They’ll be feeling confident of extending that run here.

Jesse Marsch’s side are third in the Eastern Conference, just three points off top spot and they will be hoping to challenge all the way to top the East come the end of the regular season.

Red Bulls will be looking to improve on their last result at BC Place back in 2014 where they lost 4-1. A win here could put them top of the East if results go their way.

New York have drawn their last four on their travels, they’ll be hoping to continue their unbeaten run on the road with a win this time out.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Red Bulls Celebrate

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps have just three injury concerns heading into this tie as Christian Dean, Kekuta Manneh and Jordan Harvey are all out. Carl Robinson’s options are limited here as Marcel De Jong, David Edgar, Christian Bolanos, Kendall Waston, Giles Barnes and Blas Perez are all on international duty.

New York Red Bulls are without Gideon Baah, Connor Lade and Damien Perrinelle, while Dax McCarty and Luis Robles are both doubts. Red Bulls have less players on international duty as Kemar Lawrence is with the Jamica squad, while Sacha Kljestan is in action for The USMNT.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/L/L/L/D

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have drawn their last four Major League Soccer away ties.

Key Player: Bradley Wright Phillips – The New York Red Bulls frontman will be looking to take advantage of a Vancouver side lacking confidence. BWP has scored seven goals in his last six outings.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Bradley Wright-Phillips Celebrates

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 New York Red Bulls – More misery for Vancouver Whitecaps who just cannot end their winless run. The Red Bulls will be eager to take all three points in this on and, given current form and players missing from either squad, they should do so.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, August 28 – 14:30 ET (19:30 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/7 – Draw 3/1 – Montreal 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Eastern Conference rivals New England Revolution to Red Bull Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Jesse Marsch’s side have been in strong form and are unbeaten in their last eight regular season games, they will be feeling confident of extending that run here.

Red Bulls come into this one off the back of their disappointing 2-2 draw away at DC. Although the game was disrupted early on due to the weather, NYRB had gone on to lead 2-0, but threw three points away to a DC side who showed great spirit to turn things around.

New York are six points off top spot in the East and will be looking to finish the season in the highest position possible. They have eight regular season games remaining and if they carry on this unbeaten run they have a great chance of topping the East.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Red Bulls Celebrate

New England Revolution are having a season to forget, but they still have plenty of games ahead of them to push their way above the red line. They’re currently sitting 8th, two points behind the top six.

Jay Heaps will be eager for his side to end their five game winless run here but will know how tough this tie is going to be.

The Revs drew their last outing 0-0 away at San Jose, that result ended a four game losing streak. They now need to build upon that and take a positive result in this one.

New England haven’t won in their last six attempts on the road and face a Red Bulls side who are proving to be tough to beat at home.

New England Revolution vs Seattle Sounders

Team News

New York Red Bulls are without four through injury ahead of the game as Gideon Baah, Dax McCarty, Connor Lade and Damien Perrinelle all remain out.

New England Revolution could be without as many as six for this tie as Xavier Kouassi, Jordan McCrary, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jose Goncalves are out, while Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Donnie Smith are both doubts.

Key Points

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

New England Revolution’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last nine Major League Soccer home outings, winning eight.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls’ frontman has netted 15 goals so far this season and has four in his last two home appearances.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Bradley Wright-Phillips Celebrates

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 New England Revolution – Given the form of these two sides it is difficult to see anything other than a win for Red Bulls. New England have struggled for large parts of the regular season and although they ended their losing run last time out it looks set to be another tough one to take for their fans.

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 – Sunday, July 24 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 7/10 – Draw 3/1  – New York City FC 7/2

Match Preview

It’s the Hudson River Derby this Sunday as New York Red Bulls host rivals New York City FC at Red Bull Arena in a huge Eastern Conference battle between two fierce rivals.

New York Red Bulls welcome City for the first time this season, with the previous two meetings both coming at Yankee Stadium. The sides are tied with a win a piece so far this term. The latest meeting ended with a 2-0 loss for the Red Bulls in a result not many would have predicted after they thrashed City 7-0 back in April.

That 2-0 defeat a month ago was also the first time NYCFC managed to overcome their local enemies so this clash couldn’t be more finely poised.

Jesse Marsch’s side come into this one struggling for form, with just one win in their last six outings. The Red Bulls are sitting third on 28 points, trailing NYCFC, who lead the Eastern Conference, by five points going into the weekend.

It is away form that is troubling New York Red Bulls as they have been on a solid run at home. They’ve won six of their last seven ties and kept a clean sheet in their last six at Red Bull Arena.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls

New York City FC come into this one with the bragging rights over their rivals, as previously mentioned and sitting topof the East will only boost morale. But there is plenty of work to do to if they are to take all three points here.

Patrick Vieira will be pleased with how his side responded to their 3-1 away loss to SKC as they bounced straight back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Montreal last time out.

NYCFC had the look of a side who believed they could overcome any opponent in that win last weekend, they were under pressure for large parts of the game but defended well and countered with great precision.

The New York City players will be hoping to further avenge the pain they put their fans through in that 7-0 loss at Yankee Stadium with a win in their rivals backyard this time around.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Team News

New York Red Bulls have just two injury concerns heading into the derby as Kemar Lawrence and Gideon Baah both remain out.

New York City have a bit of an injury crisis on their hands at the moment, as they could be without as many as six for this one. Connor Brandt, Steven Mendoza, Shannon Gomez, Ronald Matarrita and Khiry Shelton all look set to miss out, while Andoni Iraola has been training after suffering his ankle injury last weekend but remains a doubt.

Key Points

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

New York City FC’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Home form – New York Red Bulls have won six of their last seven home games in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder has a huge role for the derby. He will be tasked with keeping the inform NYCFC midfielders quiet. If he can stop the likes of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo bossing the game his side have a great chance of winning this tie. Possibly an even more important task for the Red Bulls midfielder will be to keep service to the City stars to a minimum.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo Sacha Kljestan

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-2 New York City FC – This has the makings of a classic tie. Both sides are in form in one way or another. With Red Bulls looking solid at home and with City winning six of their last seven outings it’s difficult to see either side losing. RBNY know they have to win this tie to close the gap on their neighbours, while a draw for NYCFC will see them remain top of the East beyond this weekend. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, March 19 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Houston 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Houston Dynamo to Red Bull Arena on Saturday as they look to finally get off the mark in the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season.

The reigning Supporters’ Shield holders have endured a very tough opening two games so far this season and are yet to score a goal. They lost their opener at home against Toronto and last weekend fell to a 3-0 thumping away at Montreal.

Although it is early doors this is still a worrying factor for Jesse Marsch and he will have his side fully prepared to take on an inform Houston side. Red Bulls are currently propping up the Eastern Conference and nothing short of a win here will be good enough.

If the Red Bulls are to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield again this campaign they are going to need to be far more impressive than they have been so far. It isn’t all doom and gloom as we are still early into the new campaign but Marsch’s side cannot afford another lapsed performance here and they will already have some impatient fans heading into the tie.

Sebastian Giovinco Penalty

Houston come to Red Bull Arena in a prime position. They are unbeaten in their opening two outings and have looked impressive.

They come into the tie off the back of their amazing 5-0 demolition job over FC Dallas last weekend, a result that not only shocked fans but sent out a message to the rest of the Western Conference.

Owen Coyle will be delighted to see his side sitting third in the West but will be more than aware of how difficult this tie can be.

Dynamo have really struggled on the road in recent times in MLS and they won just twice away from home last season. Starting with an away win here would be an enormous boost.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

New York Red Bulls have just the one injury concern heading into this tie as Damien Perrinelle remains out.

Houston Dynamo have five injury concerns. Collen Warner is out, while Tyler Deric, DaMarcus Beasley, Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana are all doubts.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ form: L/L

Houston Dynamo’s form: D/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 13 home matches against Houston in all competitions.

Key Player: Sacha Klještan – The NYRB midfielder can help lead his side here after their poor start to the season. If he can get on the ball, control the game and keep things simple this weekend it will enable his teammates to regain some of their lost confidence.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Red Bulls to continue their good run of form at home against Houston and pick up their first win of the season in a very competitive tie. Dynamo have conceded at least two in their last six away outings and that combined with their poor away form will likely cost them here, despite a good start to the campaign.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Montreal Olympic Stadium – Saturday, March 12 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – New York Red Bulls 15/8

Match Preview

Montreal Impact host New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium for the second game of the 2016 MLS season on Saturday afternoon in an all Eastern Conference clash.

The Impact enjoyed an excellent opening day 3-2 victory away at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, thanks to two goals from Ignacio Piatti and a Dominic Oduro strike.

Mauro Biello will be delighted with the performance of his players, and that win will send out a signal to the rest of the league that Montreal mean business in 2016 and will be out to prove that last year’s surge to the playoffs was no fluke.

Embed from Getty Images

That win at Vancouver also showed that the Impact are more than capable of coping without talisman Didier Drogba who undoubtedly transformed the team towards the end of 2015.

New York Red Bulls suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Toronto in their first game and will be looking to bounce back immediately on Saturday.

Despite dominating the play with 63% possession and making 220 more passes than their opponents, the Red Bulls only managed one shot-on-target, with ten off target, which will be a major concern for Jesse Marsch.

Embed from Getty Images

The 2015 Supporters’ Shield winners were the highest goalscorers in MLS last year and will be hoping that their opening day blues were just a case of rustiness and lack of competitive action.

The last meeting between these two sides saw the Red Bulls edge a 2-1 home victory in October 2015, while the last clash in Montreal ended with a 1-1 draw in August 2015.

Team News

Montreal Impact will be without long-term absentee Andres Romero (knee), as well as Patrice Bernier and Cameron Porter (both hamstring). Didier Drogba will also miss the game as he’s struggling with a knee injury and doesn’t want to risk making it worse by playing on artificial turf.

Embed from Getty Images

New York Red Bulls defender Damien Perrinelle remains out (knee), while forward Gonzalo Veron (hamstring) is also struggling with injury. Bradley Wright-Phillips will be hoping to find some form after not even registering a shot last weekend.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s MLS form: W

New York Red Bulls’ MLS form: L

Key Stat: Since Mauro Biello took over as Montreal head coach in August 2015, the Impact have lost just three games in MLS – P15, W10, D2, L3 (including the MLS Cup playoffs).

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Argentinian was inspirational in their away win at Vancouver last weekend, playing a part in all three goals, scoring two and assisting the other. There’s no doubting that the Red Bulls are going to have to work hard to stop Piatti if they want to head home with anything from this game.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-1 New York Red Bulls – Montreal were very impressive against Vancouver, and while the Red Bulls played well in stages in their game, they just couldn’t break Toronto down. They’ll probably get on the scoresheet this time around, but it may not be enough to stop the Impact from making it two wins on the bounce and inflicting consecutive defeats on the 2015 Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield winners.

New York Red Bulls boss heaps praise on Shaun Wright-Phillips

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has praised midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips for his attitude towards the game and the way he conducts himself around the club.

“Shaun Wright-Phillips is the kind of guy that I think leads by example for our young guys. It’s about how he carries himself every day, how he trains, the quality he has and the humility,” Marsch told the New York Red Bulls’ YouTube channel.

“He’s really an impressive guy, and to come here and contribute in the ways that he does, he shows every day what being a big time pro is about. He’s a guy that I think everyone looks up to.”

Wright Phillips joined his brother Bradley at the Red Bulls in July 2015 and has so far made 12 appearances, contributing one goal and an assist.

WATCH: Preseason – checking in with Shaun Wright-Phillips

Jesse Marsch plans on giving the Englishman a run-out in New York Red Bulls’ final preseason game on Saturday, February 27 away at Jacksonville Armada FC.

“He’s looked sharper and sharper, fitter and fitter every day, so the goal is to get him ready by the opening weekend and I’m hopeful that Saturday, he’s still feeling well and that we can maybe look to give him 10-15 minutes.”

Shaun Wright-Phillips says he’s looking forward to the game and hopes he can come through unscathed, so he’s “ready for the start of the season”.

“First and foremost, I just want to get through the game with no injuries, or nothing reoccurring and get as many touches on the ball as I can, and create a few chances for myself and my teammates,” he said on the Red Bulls’ YouTube channel.

Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips – Photo by Jason Schott via nysportsday.com

Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips – Photo by Jason Schott via nysportsday.com

The 34 year old is also relishing the competition in the squad and is ready to stake his claim for a regular spot in the side once the MLS season starts next weekend.

“We’re all in this together and we’re all going to fight for a place, and we have to understand there’s four wingers in there and at times there will be rotation,” said Wright-Phillips.

“But at the same time we have to support the player that’s challenging against us and hope he does just as well as I would, and it’s only going to benefit us in the long run.”

The New York Red Bulls begin their MLS campaign at home to Toronto on Sunday, March 6.

How important will Shaun Wright-Phillips be for the New York Red Bulls this season?

2016 MLS Season Preview: New York Red Bulls

As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what New York Red Bulls will be hoping to achieve this season.

New York Red Bulls come into the 2016 season with a squad in solid shape, who will be hoping to improve on last season’s bow out at the Conference Finals stage of the playoffs. Jesse Marsch has a strong squad ready for the new campaign and will be looking for his side to challenge for the Eastern Conference title once again. His side are the holders of the Supporters’ Shield and will be hungry to try and retain their title with a squad that hasn’t changed too drastically. Their 60-point tally last term was a brilliant effort and as the new season comes closer they will be itching to get going and look to get off to a strong start.

Last season’s finish:

Western Conference – Position: 1st – P34 – W18 – D6 – L10

Photo: @NewYorkRedBulls

Photo: @NewYorkRedBulls

What needs to change this year?

There isn’t an awful lot for New York Red Bulls to improve on. They were unlucky in the Playoffs and as we know, knockout rounds are a lottery. Losing less games is something that they can prioritise, as although they won the Supporters’ Shield, they still lost on ten occasions during the regular season. They won five home games on the bounce and six home games on the bounce on two separate spells in the 2015 season, showing that Red Bull Arena can be a fortress and an essential place for Marsch’s side to pick up a lot of points. This is something they have to keep doing in the coming season.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Tyler Adams – Defender, Scott Thomsen – Defender, Gideon Baah – Defender, Derrick Etienne – Midfielder, Chris Thorsheim – Midfielder, Mael Corboz – Midfielder, Brandon Allen – Forward & Alex Muyl – Forward

Outs: Santiago Castano – Goalkeeper, Matt Miazga – Defender, Shawn McLaws – Defender, Roy Miller – Defender, Anthony Miller – Defender, Leo Stolz – Midfielder, Marius Obekop – Midfielder, Dane Richards – Midfielder & Manolo Sanchez – Forward 

Key Player:

Embed from Getty Images

Bradley Wright-Phillips – The obvious choice is the New York Red Bulls’ talisman. He netted 17 goals last campaign and will be looking to improve and push his side forward as the new season starts. BWP, typical of any frontman, plays off of confidence, and once he gets going he is tough to stop. When he gets it right in front of goal NYRB normally take all three points. The 30 year old will be expected to provide for his side again this year and we all know what he is capable of.

One to Watch:

Gideon Baah – The new signing has some big boots to fill following Matt Miazga’s departure to Chelsea. The 24 year old has made just one appearance for his national side, Ghana, but has shown the potential for international recognition. The NYRB defence was solid last season, and parterned with their attacking options, boasted the best goal difference in Major League Soccer in 2015. Baah has a lot of pressure coming into the side but that sometimes helps new signings to up their game from the outset.

Embed from Getty Images

Predicted Finish:

Eastern Conference – 2nd – New York Red Bulls should be battling at the top of the Eastern Conference in 2016 and will be aiming for a solid performance in the playoffs. We’ve predicted NYRB to drop into second place come the end of the season, simply because they have lost a star man in Miazga and they haven’t yet made a standout signing. Jesse Marsch does however have a strong squad at his disposal and will be expecting another strong campaign from his side in 2016.

What are you expecting from New York Red Bulls in 2016?