So needless to say, New York packs quite a punch.
"They're a good team," said RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who can once again tie the MLS all-time record for career shutouts. "They have special players for sure. But we're not just playing them, there's 11 players on the field. So, it's a competition and we've got to get the result at home."
"This is a team that counters extremely well, especially when Henry dropping into the midfield and him showing up in different spots can be very dangerous," said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. "They have the leading scorer in the league right now in Wright-Phillips, so they're very dangerous."
The Red Bulls just beat Arsenal from the English Premiere League this past weekend, but they played several starters and may be a bit tired coming into Rio Tinto Stadium where they have never won. RSL is 4-0-4 all-time at home against New York.
"Now they've got to travel and come to us in altitude," said Cassar. "So, we're going to come out with the right mentality and energy and really come after them."
"They can score in bunches," added midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "So we're going to have to be aware of them for sure and finish our chances. That's going to be the main thing is us coming out, executing and playing our game. Hopefully the result will take care of itself."
Real is coming off a much-needed result against Montreal last Thursday, winning 3-1. A win tonight will get them to within 3 points of first place Seattle in the Western Conference.
"The spirit of the team is fantastic right now," said Cassar. "Obviously, it's great after a nice win and three points at home. But another three points against a tough opponent would be even sweeter."
RSL is in the middle of a 3-game in 10-day stretch with another match coming this Saturday at Colorado. But the team is confident they'll have the legs to win all three.
"You got to look at the first game first," Beckerman said. "If you try to ease up on anything, you can end up losing both. So, you got to go after this first game with everything we've got, then we'll be able to recover. We've been doing it for years, so we should be able to recover and get ready for that next game, especially being a rival game, we'll be up for it."
"This is a huge week," said defender Nat Borchers. "A home game against New York, a good Eastern Conference opponent, then going to Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Cup is a huge game for the Western Conference."
RSL and New York will play at 7:00 p.m. tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium.
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