Florian Valot (right) and his Red Bulls teammates can take a giant step toward clinching a playoff spot with a win Wednesday night. (Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)
The Red Bulls can take a big step toward clinching an MLS Cup Playoff berth by defeating the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night.
New York (7-8-5, 26 points) will look to extend its unbeaten streak to five games in the 7 p.m. encounter against New England (7-5-8, 29). The Red Bulls’ unbeaten streak includes three consecutive draws. They are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, on the heels of the sixth-place Revs.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Red Bulls’ Omir Fernández and Gustavo Bou of the Revolution traded goals six minutes apart in the first half, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium Aug. 29.
The visiting team has won only twice in the series over the past 12 seasons in league play. The Red Bulls recorded a 3-2 victory in Foxborough, Mass. July 5, 2017, their second win there in four seasons. When the Red Bulls won 2-0 at Gillette Stadium on June 8, 2014, it was the first for New York in New England since 2002. The Revs had won 13 of 19 meetings in league and MLS Cup play since that previous New York win.
The Revolution has never defeated the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in league play. Since the stadium opened in 2010, the Red Bulls have won 10 of 12 regular-season games there, with two draws. When the Revolution won 2-1 in Harrison, N.J. in the first leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference Championship, it was their first win of any sort in New Jersey since 2007, ending a 10-game winless streak there in all competitions. New England defeated the Montreal Impact in Harrison in an Impact home game earlier this year.
New Jersey native Brian White has scored in back-to-back matches, both of which were in stoppage time, to help New York secure ties against Orlando City (1-1) and Chicago Fire FC (2-2). White’s goal against Orlando City came in the 95th minute (94:47), which was the latest result changing goal for the Red Bulls in an MLS regular-season match since Tim Cahill in the 97th minute (96:58) in a 2-2 tie with New England in October 2013. Both stoppage time goals came after White had subbed into the match. He entered the Orlando match in the 70th minute and the Chicago match in the 78th minute.
The Red Bulls travel to Yankee Stadium to face New York City FC Sunday, both team’s penultimate match of the regular season.