The Montreal Impact will try to get a result at Red Bull Arena, a not very friendly stadium for the Bleu-Blanc-Noir. With only 2 losses at Red Bull Arena, the original NY MLS team will look to continue its dominance with a few absentees due to injuries.
I caught up with Steve Toto of Once A Metro to get his thoughts on the upcoming match-up:
1. The game last week against the Galaxy looked like a war (at least the second half). What can New York take out of that game going into the game against the Impact... and for that the rest of the season?
I would say the whole game was a war. Both Damien Perrinelle and Connor Lade had to come off due to injury in the first half. Then Bradley Wright-Phillips had a lesser injury of his own in the second half. It was the second time this season that RBNY had to use all three subs due to injury. And the crazy part is that none of the injuries came to midfielders, so the starting five were the ending five. And head coach Jesse Marsch was tossed for his discontent towards the referee. A very trying effort all around.
The game didn't start until 9:30pm, but if fans were up to watch the whole thing, they had trouble sleeping. There were two very strong cries for PKs that didn't transpire. RBNY was probably exhausted by the end physically and emotionally. If the front office didn't pull off two late-window transfers, I would say the team would have been in a world of hurt the last 2.5 months of the regular season. They should be fairly solid offensively, but they will be shaky defensively.
2. After a bit of an unceremonious entry by Jesse Marsch how do Red Bull supporters feel about the head coach at this point compared to day one at the club?
January 2015 is now a thing of the past. Fans still love Mike Petke, but have come to terms that Jesse Marsch is the right guy for the job. Ali Curtis and Jesse Marsch were no one's favorites during that first contentious Town Hall. But after delivering another Eastern Conference Final appearance, another Supporter's Shield and taking home Coach of the Year, the second and third Town Halls were much smoother for all parties.
Fans love the high-press that Marsch has instituted. The forwards and midfielders pressure the back line of their opposition. Many times, it leads to turnovers or balls that become 50/50 when defenders are forced to play the long ball or risk turning it over in their defensive third. The negative is that if teams like Philadelphia during their US Open Cup match break it, they are off to the races in transition, leaving the back four out to dry.
3. Who is one player the Impact defence will need to keep an extra close eye on this weekend?
I would say Sacha Kljestan. He's the league leader in assists and RBNY's lone MLS All-Star. He played great in the All-Star Game and he's been a huge contributor since mid-season 2015. He is a dangerous goal scorer, which means he is an even more dangerous assist-getter. Defenses have to respect his abilities, but while they are focused on him, the strikers are on the move.
Connor Lade (torn ACL - out for rest of season)
Gideon Baah (broken leg - out for rest of season)
Dax McCarty (broken leg - out 4-5 more weeks)
Damien Perrinelle (knee injury - out 4-6 weeks)
Bradley Wright-Phillips (bone bruise - day-to-day)
Jesse Marsch (ejection - suspended for Montreal game)
Prediction for starting XI:
Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Ronald Zubar, Aurelien Collin, Kemar Lawrence; Sean Davis, Felipe Martins; Alex Muyl; Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella; Gonzalo Veron