It’s as simple as this.
For the Red Bulls to advance to the knockout round of the MLS Is Back Tournament, the Red Bulls need a win or a draw against FC Cincinnati at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN and Red Bulls Radio).
Both teams enter the contest at the ESPN with 1-1-1 records and three points and tied for second place in Group E. The Red Bulls hold the second tiebreaker of goal differential at -1 to -3.
The match will be the fourth time between New York and FC Cincinnati with the Red Bulls owning the 3-0-0 advantage. New York has outscored its opponent, 6-2 with four active players connecting against Cincy and four players each with two assists over the three-match span.
It will be 144 days since both teams faced off in the 2020 season opener in which New York earned a 3-2 win at Red Bull Arena. Florian Valot, who began the season after coming off his second ACL surgery, had a strong season-debut with against Cincy with two first-half assists to lead the Red Bulls.
Under the Red Bulls high-press system, scoring the first goal is crucial in matches. Since 2015, New York is 71-12-17 when tallying the first goal of the match, while going 14-41-11 when allowing the first goal.
In 2020, the results have not differed as the Red Bulls (2-1-1, 7, overall record) scored first against Cincinnati (1-3-0, 3, overall), a 3-2 win, Real Salt Lake, a 1-1 tie, Atlanta, a 1-0 victory, while Columbus Crew grabbed the game’s first goal in a 2-0 loss.