New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact Playoff Preview. Leg One

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The 2016 MLS Playoffs are now upon the New York Red Bulls. After finishing atop the Eastern Conference for the second consecutive year, the Red Bulls once again embark for their first MLS Cup in team history.

In the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Red Bulls will meet the Montreal Impact. The Impact advanced out of the knockout round by defeating D.C. United by a score of 4-0.  The two sides have met three prior times in the regular season. With the Red Bulls winning two out of the three matches.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact Playoff Preview

Projected Lineup

Three Things to Watch For

Omer Damari/Daniel Royer

There was a lot of excitement was surrounding both Royer and Damari when they came over to the Red Bulls during the summer. However, injuries have limited both to very little playing time with the club. Both are now said to be 100% for the playoffs and I am curious to see how Jesse Marsch will use both of these players. Damari and Royer have both shown in their short stint with the club that they have the potential to be very dangerous weapons for the Red Bulls.

Bradley Wright-Phillips/Sacha Kljestan Connection

These two will be imperative to the playoff success for the Red Bulls. Both equally had MLS MVP caliber seasons for New York. Wright-Phillips captured his second MLS Golden Boot in three years and has only become the fifth player in league history to do so. Kljestan on the other hand, racked up 20 assists and became only the second player in league history to record such a feat. If these two continue their hot form, it is going to take a lot for the Red Bulls to be stopped.

Resiliency

This team has shown resilience this entire year. Starting with one win and six losses in your first seven games would have crippled most teams. However, the Red Bulls endured and found themselves a top the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs. The Red Bulls could’ve collapsed after countless road matches in which they blew a two goal lead in the last fifteen minutes. Yet, in the last match of their season they win on the road against the Philadelphia Union 2-0. This team has the resilience to win MLS Cup and they don’t have to look that far to show that they have the will within them to accomplish this feat.

Prediction

The Red Bulls have had no problem scoring goals on the road this season. With the away goals being the tie breaker after 180 minutes, I expect the Red Bulls to try and pile it on. Past their first meeting with the Impact, New York has held Montreal to just one goal. I expect the Red Bulls to come out victorious and take a good lead back to Red Bull Arena

Score: 2-0 Red Bulls