The Red Bulls knocked off the number one seeded DC United in the first round of the playoffs and thus have a large amount of momentum heading into this matchup with the Revolution.
The New York-New England rivalry will be in full force this Sunday at Red Bull Arena and should be an intense matchup of attacking systems. During the regular season, the Red Bulls won both games against the Revolution and hope to continue this streak in the playoffs. The Revolution, unlike past seasons, have relied on their attacking mindset to win games—heavily displayed by scoring seven goals in just two games to start the playoffs. This parallels the Red Bulls who, with Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips, look to test the Revs back four continuously.
A big question mark for the Revs is Andrew Farrell - who sat out the second game versus the Crew due to a leg injury. Farrell stated it was a convenient bye week in between legs for his recovery and hopes to be back for the Red Bulls matchup. He will be imperative to securing the Revs back four amidst the attacking presence of the Red Bulls. Although Darrius Barnes has proven to be a reliable replacement anywhere in the back, Farrell’s 1 v 1 defending and speed are not well suited on the bench.
Lee Nguyen will have to also play at his best if the Revs wish to move on. He’ll gain confidence from this past week after being called back into the USMNT roster after a 7 year absence. He got a share of minutes and almost had a class assist to Bobby Wood, who quite honestly should have scored. Though the MVP voting has been completed, this is a great opportunity for Nguyen to further his case as the MLS MVP with this matchup - where he can outshine the favorite, Bradley Wright-Phillips.
- Get off to an early start
- Incorporate Dax McCarty into the attack
- Reduce Lee Nguyen's touches in the attacking half
- Find a way to frustrate Bradley Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry
- Reduce Bobby Shuttleworth's work load
- Don't give up set pieces