Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - There is no MLS team in better form than Red
Bull New York.
The Red Bulls will welcome the Columbus Crew to Red Bull Arena on Sunday with
an opportunity to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games.
New York has dropped just two points over that stretch, going 5-0-1 to climb
to the top of the Eastern Conference with 24 points for the season.
Dax McCarty, who marked his return from injury with a substitute appearance in
New York's 1-0 defeat of the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend, believes that
solid defensive play has been the key to the club's rich vein of form.
"We're pretty confident right now," the midfielder told the club's official
website. "I've been able to I guess sit back and observe a little bit more of
the games, and I think we'd all admit that we're not playing great soccer, but
we're playing effective soccer.
"It starts at the back, you know? Defensively we're really strong, obviously
Louis (Robles) is playing very well and making some big saves for us, and then
(Jamison) Olave and Markus (Holgersson) have really formed a nice partnership.
So it seems that that's our foundation."
The Red Bulls are in the middle of a three-game homestand, something that
McCarty hopes the club can use to its advantage.
"We pride ourselves on our form at home," McCarty continued. "And we're
usually really strong at home. We obviously need six points out of these last
two games. We've played quite a few more games than most of the other teams in
the league, so if we close out with six points I think, obviously when other
teams catch up to us, hopefully we'll still be right around the top."
One of those teams in the mix to challenge the Red Bulls is Columbus. The Crew
have played three fewer matches than their Eastern Conference counterparts,
and the nine-point gap between the two clubs means that Columbus would go
level with New York with maximum points from those matches.
The first step in that process begins Sunday with a victory at Red Bull Arena,
but the Crew will have to do it without defensive mainstay Glauber. The
Brazilian veteran will miss the match through yellow card accumulation, and
with Chad Marshall and Agustin Viana being ruled out with hamstring injuries,
head coach Robert Warzycha could be tempted to hand a starting role to rookie
"For some players, being smart is their best quality," Warzycha told the
Crew's official website. "That's Chad's quality, being calm on the ball and
good passing: that's what he does.
"He can play anywhere in the back four positions. Because the New York
forwards are big, maybe (playing center back) would be too much to ask.
As of right now, on the right side he can get his feet wet."
Barson managed just seven minutes last weekend, coming on as a substitute for
"I learned you always have to be ready for the game," Barson said in an
interview with the club. "You'd never expect to get into a game like that. You
think the guys on the field are going to close it out, but a guy goes down
with an injury and you get thrown out there. You just have to make sure you're
doing whatever is possible to help the team get a result."
Preparation will be key in helping the Crew exact a little revenge on the Red
Bulls. The two clubs faced one another at Crew Stadium on May 4 with New York
stealing a victory thanks to a late strike from Tim Cahill.
The Sports Network