New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, March 10 2018 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Preview

New York Red Bulls begin their 2018 MLS season at home to Portland Timbers on Saturday evening and should be in high spirits following their historic midweek win away at Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Red Bulls didn’t play on MLS opening weekend but they begin at home here and will be looking to get off to the best possible start. The squad will be high in confidence following that 2-0 CCL win on the road in Mexico on Tuesday but all focus now needs to be on the upcoming game.

Jesse Marsch will no doubt have one eye on the second-leg clash with Tijuana at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday and so some changes are expected to be made to the squad. Major offseason signing Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra could make his first start although the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer could be rested.

Portland will be looking to capitalise on a weakened Red Bulls side as they look to bounce back following their opening weekend loss at LA Galaxy. The Timbers fell 2-1 and will be disappointed with the way they defended over the course of that match.

New Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese’s will be in familiar territory for his second MLS game, having joined Portland from New York Cosmos, where he won three NASL league titles in five years. Savarese is expecting to have plenty of friends and family inside Red Bull Arena, so he’ll be desperate to get a result.

This will be the second of five-straight away games for Portland as a result of ongoing construction work to Providence Park. The Timbers will be boosted by the fact they’ve not lost either of their last two trips to Red Bull Arena (1W 1D). They also won the only meeting last season, picking up a 2-0 home win back in August.

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Team News

New York Red Bulls

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: None.

[Check out all of the Red Bulls’ key transfer business ahead of their 2018 season opener by clicking the image above]

Portland Timbers

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Diego Chara (foot).

🚑 Out: Vytas (thigh), Jeff Attinella (thigh), Roy Miller (achilles).

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Key Stats

New York Red Bulls’ MLS form: N/A

Portland Timbers’ MLS form: L

Key stat: The New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last eight regular season home games, last losing to NYCFC in June. Since then, they have won four and drawn four at Red Bull Arena, keeping a clean sheet in half those games.

 New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 1-1 Portland Timbers: A full strength Red Bulls side would probably run out winners here for their opening game of the season. But with changes expected to be made ahead of their Champions League second-leg, Portland will expect to get a result themselves. The Timbers struggled defensively at LA Galaxy last weekend and must improve here, but they have goals in them and will be expecting to cause the Red Bulls trouble. New York still have enough depth to cope with a busy early season schedule but they might have to settle for a point on Saturday.

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MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls

2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – Knockout Round: Chicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls

Toyota Park – Wednesday, October 25 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Chicago Fire 21/10 – Draw 5/2 – NY Red Bulls 23/10

Chicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls: Preview

The 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are here. It all kicks off with the Chicago Fire hosting the New York Red Bulls in the first of four midweek Knockout Round games.

Both teams have reason for optimism heading into Wednesday’s game but only one side will remain in the playoffs come the end of play. This is expected to be the tightest of the four Knockout Round games, as the below projections highlight.

Chicago Fire deserve enormous praise for even reaching the postseason, let alone earning home-field advantage. They haven’t played a postseason game since 2012 and so you can expect a special atmosphere at Toyota Park.

Most the focus in the build-up to the game will be on Dax McCarty. The midfielder joined the Fire from the Red Bulls before the start of the campaign and will now be looking to get past his former side for a place in the Conference Semifinals.

Embed from Getty ImagesThey have the 2017 Golden Boot winner in Nemanja Nikolic. The Serbian striker netted 24 goals and played every single regular season game in his debut season. A strong showing in the playoffs would give the Fire a great chance at success.

The worry for the home side is that their form has been anything but solid heading into the playoffs. They’ve posted a 3-2-1 record over their last six and lost 3-0 at Houston on the final day of the regular season. But their strong home form still makes them narrow favourites here.

The New York Red Bulls had been stuck in sixth place for what seemed like an eternity. They didn’t lock down a playoff spot as soon as they’d have hoped. But challenges from rivals faded and they’ve been able to prepare for the postseason for a couple of weeks.

Embed from Getty ImagesJesse Marsch’s men ended the regular season with a 2-1 win at DC United. They have only lost one of their last five and will arrive at Chicago looking to keep it tight and hit them on the break.

These two sides met twice during the regular season. The Red Bulls won 2-1 at Red Bull Arena early on in the season, before they drew 1-1 at Toyota Park in early September.

Chicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls: Team News

The big question mark heading into Wednesday’s game is the fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger. He hasn’t started a game in almost two months but is officially listed as ‘questionable’. The Fire will definitely be without Jorge Bava, John Goossens, Daniel Johnson, Christian Dean and Michael De Leeuw.

The Red Bulls have four players ruled out for Wednesday’s game. Gideon Baah, Mike Grella, Connor Lade and Aurelien Collin are all sidelined through injury.

Chicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls: Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: L/W/D/W/L

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

Key Stat: Chicago only lost two of their 17 home games during the regular season. They outscored their opponents 44-14 in that time.

Key Player: Dax McCarty – The combative midfielder will be the centre of attention on Wednesday night. His job will be to disrupt his former teammate Sacha Kljestan from controlling the game. If he succeeds, it’s more than likely that Chicago will advance.

Embed from Getty ImagesChicago Fire vs New York Red Bulls: Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-2* (AET) New York Red Bulls – This should be the closest of all four Knockout Round games. The Fire are a force at home and will be relishing the prospect of a playoff game for the first time in five years. But the Red Bulls are experienced at this level and know how to get the job done. This looks poised to go beyond 90 minutes but we see the Red Bulls as the more likely to advance, with this one looking like it could go all the to penalties.

2017 US Open Cup Final Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

2017 US Open Cup Final: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Children’s Mercy Park – Wednesday, September 20 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 10/11 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 3/1

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Preview

It’s here. The 2017 US Open Cup Final will take place at Children’s Mercy Park as Sporting Kansas City take on the New York Red Bulls.

Three-time winners SKC will be looking to win their third Open Cup title in six years, while the Red Bulls are bidding to win the trophy for the first time. This is their first Open Cup final since 2003, where they lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire.

Sporting KC’s route to the final has been fairly straightforward. They kept clean sheets in their first three games, beating Minnesota, Houston and FC Dallas. Their semi-final clash at San Jose was a little more tricky, but they advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

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The Red Bulls came close to being eliminated by this year’s surprise package in the semi-final. FC Cincinnati were 2-0 up with 15 minutes to go but a late comeback, followed by a Bradley Wright-Phillips winner in extra-time earned the Red Bulls their ticket to the final.

Wins over New York City FC, Philadelphia Union and the New England Revolution preceded that semi-final victory. The Red Bulls know they are the underdogs for Wednesday night’s game. But as we all know, anything can happen in a final.

Neither side comes into the game in great form. SKC have only won two of their last five, while the Red Bulls are winless in five, having drawing four on the spin.

Their lone regular season meeting this season ended in a 2-0 win for Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park. A repeat result here would see SKC pick up their fourth US Open Cup title. Victory would also make Sporting KC the only MLS club with four major trophies since 2012. They are currently tied with Seattle on three over the past six seasons.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Team News

Peter Vermes named a strong starting lineup for the 3-1 win over New England at the weekend. Soni Mustivar and Cameron Porter are ruled out through injury. Daniel Salloi is listed as questionable with a hip injury.

New York Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch is expected to set up with five at the back as he looks to make it difficult for SKC. Ryan Meara will keep his place in goal for the final, after playing every game in the competition so far this season. Gideon Baah, Mike Grella and Daniel Royer remain injured. While former Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin is also still out with an ongoing foot problem. Marsch rested a host of first-team regulars on Sunday night, so the Red Bulls should be fresh on Wednesday.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final: Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/W/L/D/W

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

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City have never lost a US Open Cup final, winning on all three previous trips to the main event. They won both of their last two titles on penalties.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls forward has scored three goals in four games in the US Open Cup this season. He will be tasked with trying to break down an SKC defence that has been the best in MLS this season. He proved to be the match winner in the semi-final clash with FC Cincinnati and will be looking to do the same here.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1* New York Red Bulls – Sporting Kansas City’s past two US Open Cup final wins have come on penalties. We think with this one being finely poised, a shootout may well be necessary again to determine the 2017 champion. The Red Bulls have a long-standing history of failing in knockout competitions. But they have an experienced group that should be able to get the job done. If it does go to penalties, it really is a lottery. But we think the Red Bulls would just edge it in a shootout. Expect it to be close. Expect it to be hard-fought. But most of all: Expect the unexpected.

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 City FC vs New York Red Bulls

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

Yankee Stadium – Sunday, August 6 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 1/1 – Draw 13/5 – NY Red Bulls 23/10

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Preview

New York City FC host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday evening as the fierce rivals go head-to-head in a pivotal Eastern Conference clash. There are just two points between the pair coming into the weekend.

The New York Derby has quickly become one of Major League Soccer’s most action-packed games. That should be no different this weekend, with the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) to the league this week sure to add to the drama.

New York City FC stunned the Red Bulls when they picked up a first ever win at Red Bull Arena just over a month ago. That 2-0 win suggested a power shift in New York. But results since mean this is perfectly poised.

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NYCFC fell 4-0 to league leaders Toronto FC last time out. That heavy defeat reaffirmed Toronto’s status as the team to beat. But it also once again highlighted that New York City FC are not yet the full package.

They know they must respond with a strong performance in a huge game here. They are a real force at Yankee Stadium and have only lost once at home this year.

For the New York Red Bulls, Sunday is all about revenge. That 2-0 home loss to NYCFC at the end of June was a real statement. The hosts didn’t deserve anything on the day but they have rallied well since.

Photo: @NewYorkRedBulls

Jesse Marsch’s men have won four-straight games since that loss. Last weekend’s 4-0 win over Montreal was probably their best game of the campaign. So they couldn’t be coming into the Hudson River Derby in better form.

The Red Bulls are in great form. They know they can leapfrog their rivals into third with a win on Sunday. So this one could turn out to be a classic.

This will be the second of three regular season battles between the pair in 2017. NYCFC hold the advantage after their win back in June. But the two sides will clash again on August 25 at Red Bull Arena.

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

Patrick Vieira will be without a few key men for Sunday’s derby. Khiry Shelton, Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo, James Sands, Rodney Wallace and Maxime Chanot are all out.

Jesse Marsch will defintely be without Gideon Baah and Mike Grella. Aurelien Collin is listed as questionable with a hamstring problem. Connor Lade is expected to be passed fit in time for the game.

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

NYCFC’s last five: W/L/D/W/L

NY Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Entertainment – This will be the eighth MLS clash between the New York rivals. In the seven previous clashes, there have been 25 goals. That’s an average of 3.6 per game.

Key Player: Daniel Royer – The Red Bulls’ Austrian star comes into Sunday’s game off the back of being named MLS Player of the Month for July. He scored six goals and picked up one assist in the four games last month. He looks sharp as ever and is in lethal form in and around goal. If NYCFC fail to deal with him, he could run riot.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Prediction

New York City FC 1-3 New York Red Bulls – The game is perfectly poised ahead of kickoff. It’s tough to split the two sides. But the Red Bulls are in the best form of their season. Their current run was sparked from the defeat to NYCFC at Red Bull Arena, so expect them to be on the hunt for revenge here. New York City’s 4-0 defeat to Toronto last weekend was their worst loss of the year. If they defend as they did a week ago, they won’t be able to cope with the Red Bulls’ attack.

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: Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, March 19 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports) 
Match Odds: Seattle 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 21/10

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders welcome New York Red Bulls to CenturyLink Field for the 2016 MLS Cup champions’ home opener in Sunday’s only MLS fixture.

The Sounders will be relieved to be coming home after taking just one point from their first two games of the new season. They fell 2-1 at Houston before a dramatic last-minute Will Bruin goal earned them a 2-2 draw at Montreal last Saturday.

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Their attacking play of Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris, which destroyed defences on their way to MLS Cup last season, has yet to really get going in 2017. We’re only two games in but they must start to click again if Seattle are to challenge at the right end of the Western Conference this term.

Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer will also be concerned with the fact his defence have conceded four goals in two matches. They will be without Roman Torres on Sunday as the defender has been hit with a suspension and so they may be vulnerable once again.

The Red Bulls are the only Eastern Conference side to have won both of their opening games this season and they’ve done so without getting out of first gear.

Jesse Marsch’s side are still adapting to life without Dax McCarty in midfield but they have managed to beat Atlanta and Colorado and are already in a strong position at this early stage.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Rapids wasn’t pretty and won’t live long in the memories of the Red Bulls’ fans but they got the result they needed. They now know they are in for a real test if they are to make it three from three this weekend.

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These two couldn’t be more closely matched in terms of previous meetings. The series stands at 4-3-4 with 15 goals each. However, the Red Bulls have only won one of their five trips to CenturyLink Field and that came back in 2010.

Team News

Seattle will have to cope without central defender Roman Torres, who has been handed a one-game suspension for violent conduct in last weekend’s draw in Montreal. Brad Evans is the Sounders’ only injury absentee and will miss out again.

The New York Red Bulls have two played sidelined as Connor Lade remains out with a torn ACL, while Gonzalo Veron is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ form: L/D

New York Red Bulls’ form: W/W

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last eight MLS away games (3W 5D). This is their longest away unbeaten run in their MLS regular season history.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders star scored on his return to action on opening weekend and will be relishing the chance to walkout at CenturyLink Field in front of the Seattle fans on Sunday. He has always thrived on home turf and will look to cause the Red Bulls problems from start to finish.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-2 NY Red Bulls – Both sides will expect to score in what should be an exciting battle on Sunday night. The Sounders will be relishing the chance to come out in front of the home crowd for the first time in 2017 and know they are expected to get their first three points of the season. But they have looked vulnerable at the back and the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan will look to keep the visitors 100% record intact if they can. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, June 19 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

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

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host Seattle Sounders on Sunday evening, with the hosts looking to continue their incredible run of form off the back of the international break.

Before the two-week pause of MLS action, the Red Bulls won three on the bounce, keeping clean sheets in each of those outings.

A 3-0 home victory over Toronto in their most recent game further proved that they seem to be well behind the early season troubles. They enter the weekend in third place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind leaders Philadelphia.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls

They will play three consecutive away games from home following Sunday’s clash and so taking three points is even more pivotal than normal.

Seattle travel to New York in bad shape. They are ninth in the West, four points behind the playoff places and 12 points off the top of the table.

Sigi Schmid’s side did win their last outing, beating DC United 2-0 away from home to record a first road victory of the season. But they had lost three in a row before that and have struggled for consistency.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

They have only won one of five games at Red Bull Arena and don’t look primed to take anything away from Sunday’s game.

The absence of Clint Dempsey, who is away with the US Men’s National Team, will hurt them and so they are up against it before a ball has even been kicked.

Team News

New York Red Bulls have three injury concerns as Damien Perrinelle, Ryan Meara and Kemar Lawrence are all out. Gonzalo Veron will also sit out as he serves a one-game suspension for a red card picked up last time out. Jesse Marsch has no international absences to worry about.

Seattle will travel to New York without star man Clint Dempsey, who is shining for the USA in the Copa America Centenario. Roman Torres and Oalex Anderson both remain sidelined through injury, while Chad Marshall is a doubt with a hamstring strain.

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: D/L/W/W/W

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Both sides have scored in this fixture in each of the last five meetings, with a total of 20 goals being scored in that time.

Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder can control the tempo of games single-handedly but also has the vision to carve out goalscoring chance at any minute. Expect him to cause Seattle numerous problems on Sunday night.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Seattle Sounders – Goals are expected at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening, but the hosts will fully expect to keep their winning run going by picking up three points. They are looking for a fourth-straight win on the bounce and will likely prove too strong for a Seattle side that has struggled on the road this term. The absence of Clint Dempsey won’t help their cause either.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, March 6 – 13:30 ET (18:30 GMT) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 8/13 – Draw 3/1 – Toronto 4/1

Match Preview

The wait is over. The New York Red Bulls host Toronto FC in the 2016 MLS Season opener on Sunday evening in what is a fascinating early contest between two sides looking to challenge high up the Eastern Conference this season.

Both sides have enjoyed extensive preseason schedules and will hope to hit the ground running in a game that looks set to entertain.

The Red Bulls are the reigning Supporters’ Shield holders and will have their sights firmly set on retaining that title come the end of the 2016 regular season. Jesse Marsch has a great squad and will be confident of enjoying another fine season.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Toronto will start their second successive season with a long stint of away games as BMO Field continues to be worked on. Their trip to Red Bull Arena on Sunday will be the first of eight consecutive road games for the Canadian side.

They ended 2015 with a poor away record, losing six-straight games away from home, including their 3-0 playoff defeat at Montreal, and face a tough task in taking anything away from New York this weekend.

Both of these sides spent time in Florida this preseason and played each other in a light 70-minute game two weeks ago. That contest ended 1-1 but very little would have been learnt from that scrimmage.

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Both clubs have been waiting to get back into real action for months and Sunday’s 2016 opener is expected to set the tone for what should be another truly special year in MLS.

The Red Bulls beat Toronto 3-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, but the Reds retaliated with a 2-1 win at BMO Field in the most recent clash back in October.

Team News

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch will be sweating over the fitness of Gonzalo Veron ahead of the season opener. The DP attacker suffered a hamstring injury in the Red Bulls’ final preseason game after scoring a hat-trick and is doubtful. Damien Perrinelle is continuing his road to recovery following his playoff injury last term but won’t feature here. New signing Gideon Baah is expected to start alongside Ronald Zubar in defence.

Toronto could enter the new season without striker Jozy Altidore. He is suffering with a hamstring injury that is likely to leave him on the sidelines for a couple more weeks. Sebastian Giovinco could start as the lone striker in Altidore’s absence.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ preseason form: W/W/L/W/L/W/D/D/W

Toronto FC’s preseason form: D/W/W/W/L/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have won seven of their last eight home games against Toronto and have only once lost on home soil to the Canadian side (October 2008).

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Toronto superstar is the league’s reigning MVP and is expected to pick up where he left off this season. A trip to Red Bull Arena represents a stiff challenge for the Italian forward but he scored what was probably his best MLS goals in the most recent clash with New York and will hope for another memorable game here.

Video – Sebastian Giovinco’s incredible solo goal against the Red Bulls last October (via MLS on YouTube):

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Toronto – This is expected to be a close-fought battle as neither side will want to suffer defeat in the opening game. That could lead to quite a cagey game but goals are still to be expected, given the attacking quality that both sides possess. The Red Bulls should make home advantage count by edging this one by the odd goal.