Jesse Marsch: “We’ll be ready for still a team that’s desperate, hasn’t been great on the road and is going to be desperate to come here and find a way to get a result.” (Andy Mead/YCJ)
HARRISON, N.J. — For the second time in nine days, the Red Bulls will meet up with s desperate soccer team.
Last Saturday, New York traveled to Chester, Pa., where it was beaten by the winless Philadelphia Union (0-4-4, 4 points) in an embarrassing 3-0 Major League Soccer loss.
On Sunday, the Red Bulls, will welcome the once-great and lethal LA Galaxy to Red Bull Arena. With former head coach Bruce Arena taking his coaching staff to the U.S. national team and several key players having left the team, the Galaxy has struggled this season with a 2-5-2 record.
The Galaxy, which is 1-3-1 at home, sits in ninth place out of 11 teams in the Western Conference. The team is coming off a pair of disappointing draws at the StubHub Center, a 0-0 tie with the Union and a 2-2 deadlock with the Chicago Fire last week. In fact, the Galaxy hasn’t celebrated a win in more than a month, a 2-0 home victory over the Montreal Impact April 7.
So, the last thing the Red Bulls need is a regular-season loss at home. They last suffered a defeat at Red Bull Arena — a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City April 9, 2016, an unbeaten streak that spans 19 games (16-0-3). The Red Bulls are 4-0-1 at RBA this season, surrendering only one goal.
“We’ll be ready for still a team that’s desperate, hasn’t been great on the road and is going to be desperate to come here and find a way to get a result,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said after practice at the team’s training facility earlier this week.
“We need to play the way we expect us to play and what Jesse asks of us every day in training,” midfielder Felipe added.
LA will be missing two key players. U.S. international midfielder Jermaine Jones will be sidelined from 3-4 weeks with a knee sprain and veteran right back Robbie Rogers Thursday was placed on the team’s season-ending Injury list. He underwent surgery during the offseason for nerve damage sustained in his left ankle.
“You always wish the best for the player. For us, from a soccer perspective, it’s been very difficult dealing with this from day one because we haven’t had a player of his caliber. He was one of the best right backs in the league,” Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo said of Rogers. “That’s always a difficult thing to deal with it. We wish him nothing but the best in terms of his recovery. We’ve been dealing with it and we’ll continue to deal with it but we wish him the best.”
Still, Marsch is wary about his foes.
“They’re going to come here with confidence,” he said. “I think that they want to prove that they can be a good team with what they have and we’ll be ready for that. We’ll be ready for a team that’s desperate, hasn’t been great on the road and is going to be desperate to come here and find a way to get a result.”