The New York Red Bulls are starting to hit their stride. On Saturday, the Red Bulls welcome the Montreal Impact to Red Bull Arena for the first time this season. The team is coming off their best road performance of the season at Minnesota United FC. Last Saturday’s victory gave the team their third consecutive road win in a row, which is the first time since 2013 that feat has occurred. The Red Bulls will look to rebound after a road loss in Montreal earlier this season.
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact Preview
What to Watch For
Scoring Switch Engaged
The Red Bulls scoring woes have been one of their biggest problems so far this season. In their first 17 games, the team failed to score three goals or more in every match However, in the last three MLS matches the Red Bulls have outscored their opponents 11-3. Whether it’s the recent change in formation or finding the confidence, the team is certainly trending in the right direction. The Red Bulls have won seven of its last eight matches across all competitions and are back into a playoff spot. The team currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference, being one point behind Atlanta United FC and five behind New York City FC. The Red Bulls do have a game in hand on NYCFC and could easily see that gap reduced.
Reinforcements on the Way
Even with the Red Bulls in top form, they will have more help on the way for this match. The Red Bulls will get back Kemar Lawrence with the finishing of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Lawrence had an exceptional tournament for Jamaica, having quite a few assists and scoring arguably the goal of the tournament with a beautiful free kick against Mexico. Lawrence’s success in the tournament earned him a spot in the Best XI for the Gold Cup. The return of Lawrence will certainly excite both players and fans.
The Red Bulls have also just signed Panamanian Intentional Fidel Escobar to a year and a half loan with option to buy. And the team is also rumored to not yet be done with this transfer window.
New Formation, New Success
Once again, Jesse Marsch has decided to switch things up in the formation for the Red Bulls. Unlike the 4-2-2-2 experiment failure, this new formation has been a big success. Defensively, it has a 5-4-1 shape and switches to a 3-6-1 on the offensive side of the ball. Whatever it is, it has brought immediate success to a team that was struggling and in desperate need of a change. Everyone will be interested to see how the formation will do with the addition of Escobar and the return of Lawrence.
Predicted Starting XI
The Red Bulls are on a roll right now. Whether or not Jesse Marsch decides to start Lawrence so soon after the Gold Cup, the team should very much be able to win without him should he not play. The team has found a very good flow in this new formation and it has clearly shown with the results. The Red Bulls should have no problem topping a Montreal team in the midst of a rough season. In the end, the Red Bulls come out victorious 2-0.