Tim Parker: “I think that’s where we have to hold ourselves accountable. We have to hold ourselves to a standard now.” (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
HANOVER, N.J. — Within a week, the Red Bulls hope to go from a Hudson River Derby high to a Rocky Mountain high.
Brimming with confidence after the team’s emphatic 4-0 triumph over New York City FC Saturday, the Red Bulls will try to avoid a letdown against the struggling Colorado Rapids Saturday at 9 p.m. ET (MSG).
New York (5-3-0, 15 points), which has climbed into fourth place in the Eastern Conference after winning two MLS matches in a row for the first time this season, will face the Rapids (2-4-2), who are languishing in eighth place in the Western Conference.
“On one level the performance in the game gives us a lot of confidence and on another level we have a big season ahead of us,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters at the Red Bull Training Facility Tuesday. “I made the reminder today that we just have to stay focused on day-to-day and game-to-game and make sure as much as there are certain talking points about the team we are becoming on the outside it does not mean anything.
“We have to prove ourselves every day, every week. The energy and concentration today in training was really good and that is what we have to focus on right now.”
After such a big win in an emotional match, center back Tim Parker felt the Red Bulls need to set the bar higher for itself.
“I think that’s where we have to hold ourselves accountable,” he said. “We have to hold ourselves to a standard now. When you go on the road, especially to the Western Conference, you have to make sure you get as many points as you can.”
Goalkeeper Luis Robles, who recorded the clean sheet at Red Bull Arena, realized playing at Colorado won’t have the same emotion as competing against NYCFC.
“We have to transition to a game where there isn’t the same sort of hype, the same sort of emotion surrounding it,” he said. “And of course, it’s away. And the away games so far have not been our best. There’s always just a different element that you have to overcome. When you put all these things together, it makes for a difficult game. I’m looking forward to see how we respond, especially after such a great performance against New York City.
The Red Bulls are 1-2 away this season, while Colorado is 2-1-1 at home.
“Where we’re at in the season, and how we’re developing as a team, it’s going to be a really good test for us,” Robles said. “To go up to altitude, to play against a team – even though their results haven’t gone their way – I think they’re finding themselves and they’re a really good team. If they can put it all together, they can make a run in the west.”