Red Bulls-CF Montreal Preview

National Sports

Wilfried Nancy wants to see more aggression from his CF Montreal side as it aims to end a five-match winless run against the New York Red Bulls.

Both teams enter Saturday’s game on poor runs, with the Red Bulls actually without a victory in six straight matches. It is Montreal coach Nancy who is most concerned by his team’s approach, however.

Heading into Saturday’s match, he called on the Canadian outfit to fight from front to back to improve its fortunes.

Montreal has slipped out of the playoff places in the East, one point and one position back in eighth. The Red Bulls are ninth, four points further behind but with a game in hand.

“Like I told the players, we want more bite,” Nancy said. “We need even more aggression on some balls and everyone has to contribute, starting from the attackers. I want us to be more – excuse me for the term – like dogs. It’s something we need. This state of mind must be rediscovered at key moments.”

Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber has been encouraged by their performances, even if he still sees room for improvement.

“The last games showed us good performances but in the end not the results that we want,” Struber said. “From the tactical side, I think many things go in a good way, but we have some things to do.

“We have an open mindset about what we can do better in our philosophy and our identity to create the right results. The whole training week showed me a very good picture, also the mood in the dressing room with the self-confidence. We are ready for a big challenge on Saturday.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CF Montreal – Mason Toye

New Jersey-born Toye will be determined to make an impact in this fixture. He has only faced the Red Bulls once previously, back in 2018, but is enjoying the best campaign of his career with seven goals in 13 games.

New York Red Bulls – Patryk Klimala

The goals have dried up for Klimala of late and, in turn, for the Red Bulls. In his first seven MLS starts, he had seven involvements. There have been none in four since, a drought that must end soon to get New York back on track.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– CF Montreal is unbeaten in nine home matches against the Red Bulls (W7 D2, including playoffs), including winning the past five in a row after New York won on their first visit to Montreal in 2012. CF Montreal has had just one longer home winning streak against a single opponent, winning all six all-time home matches against Houston.

– After a three-match winning streak to begin July, CF Montreal has collected just one point from its past five games (D1 L4). Montreal’s lone point in that span came in its only home match during that time, a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United on August 4.

– The Red Bulls’ winless run extended to six games after a 2-1 loss in Chicago on Sunday. This is New York’s longest winless run since going eight straight without a win (D5 L3) from August to September 2017.

– CF Montreal’s past two goals have been scored by defenders (Rudy Camacho, Zachary Brault-Guillard) after only one of its previous 45 goals (excluding own goals) were scored by defenders dating back to September 2020.

– Sean Davis has played every minute in the first half of the season for the Red Bulls, going the full 90 minutes in all 17 matches. The last Red Bulls outfield player to appear in every minute of the team’s first 17 matches of a season was Tim Ream in 2010.

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