Dru Yearwood: “We have not gotten any points away from home, so why not start now?” (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Perhaps visiting Atlanta United will be the tonic for the Red Bulls.
At home, they are virtually invincible with a 4-1-0 mark.
On the road, don’t ask. They own a 0-4-0 record entering Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Red Bulls have never lost against Atlanta, enjoying a 6-0-2 advantage.
“We have not gotten any points away from home, so why not start now?” Dru Yearwood said. “I think this is the game a lot of players want to be involved in, want to play in due to the stadium, the fans, and stuff. I think a lot of people will be relishing to play, including myself. We want to get those first points away from home.”
Head coach Gerard Struber was optimistic New York will change its losing road ways.
“We are very, very close at the moment to pick up points,” he told the media, while looking back at Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss at the New England Revolution and looking ahead to Atlanta.
“I think from the performance side, we have some topics in the game, especially in the first half, we are not always ready, especially the distances were not always good,” Struber added. “[Carles] Gil made us some problems. It is not easy to play against him, he is so outstanding, and he has some special moments. … They have an absolutely outstanding difference player on the pitch. But when we look forward, we need on Sunday, a big confidence in our principles and a big belief in that. Then I think it will be very difficult for Atlanta against us.”
The Red Bulls (4-5-0, 12 points) are in eighth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Atlanta (2-2-5, 11), which trails by a point, is in 10th place.
While scouting Atlanta via video or streaming, Struber was impressed with the atmosphere of Atlanta’s home venue.
“I saw an outstanding stadium with an outstanding atmosphere,” he said.
More importantly, United was a team “with a clear identity, especially on the ball,” Struber added.
“They have a clear plan, and they also have players with good abilities on the ball. Also, they are very man-oriented against the ball, and I think it will be a challenge. It is a tough game on Sunday in Atlanta. Nevertheless, we know the situation. My players love to play in this stadium against Atlanta and we love it on Sunday to pick up the necessary points away. We will bring a good performance and we will bring outstanding attitude in this game. This is necessary in the end that we can pick up points and we are ready. We know Atlanta is a team on a high level, but I also think we are very close at the moment.”