Revolution-Red Bulls Preview
New England Revolution defender A.J. DeLaGarza insists his side still has a lot of work to do if it is to achieve its aims for the season, despite returning to form with three wins from three.
The Revs recovered from a recent wobble that saw them go three matches without a victory by overcoming Atlanta United, Inter Miami and CF Montreal in the space of a week.
That perfect streak moved Bruce Arena's men top of the Supporters' Shield standings, one point above Seattle Sounders, but DeLaGarza believes there is still more to come from his side as it enters Saturday's game against the New York Red Bulls.
"I think everyone is pleased, but still there's a lot of work we can do on areas we can fix," he said. "One, finish off our chances, defend a little bit better and control the game a little bit more throughout the entirety of the game. That means controlling the ball and passing better and moving better for each other.
"At the end of the day we're at the top of the East and entire league so that's something we can be proud of and continue to do our work out here every day."
The Red Bulls lost 1-0 against Atlantic Cup rivals D.C. United last week and have won just one of their last six, leaving them four points off the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Head coach Gerhard Struber is after a response from his side at Red Bull Arena against the division's top side, whom they have already lost 3-1 and 3-2 during this campaign.
"We have to show our energy and also a big reaction," he said. "We'll hopefully have a big atmosphere in our stadium and that can help to bring New England problems.
"When we look back at our previous games against them, we had some good moments. Now we have to stretch that across 90 minutes. If we can do that we will win this game."
New York Red Bulls - Fabio
Brazilian forward Fabio has scored one and set up four more in the Red Bulls' last five home matches, including a couple of multi-assist matches. The 24-year-old is joint-second in MLS this season with his six assists, making him one of the biggest threats for New England to watch out for.
New England Revolution - Gustavo Bou
The Revs have found the back of the net a league-high 30 times this season – compared to 18 goals for New York – with Bou responsible for nine of those. He was again at the double in the 2-1 win over Montreal last time out, moving him to within two goals of Raul Ruidiaz at the top of the Golden Boot chart.
- The Revs have won each of their last two games against the Red Bulls, scoring three times in each. The last time New England won more than two straight games against the Red Bulls was a five-game run from July 2006 to August 2007.
- The Red Bulls are unbeaten in five straight home matches (W4 D1) and, going back to last season, have just one loss in nine at Red Bull Arena (W6 D2). New York last went more than five consecutive home matches without defeat during a nine-match winning streak from August 2019 to March 2019 (including playoffs).
- New England has won three straight matches and is now off to the best start in team history with 33 points (W10 D3 L3) from its first 16 matches, one more than the Revs had after 16 games in the 2005 campaign (32 – W9 D5 L2).
- The Red Bulls' 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Sunday marked the sixth time they have gone behind this season and the sixth time they have lost. New York is the only MLS team that has not claimed a point from a losing position this season.
- Seven of Bou's nine goals this season have been scored in the first half, which is the most in MLS. Five teams have scored fewer than seven first half goals in 2021, including the Red Bulls (six).
Updated July 30, 2021