New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber expressed his pride in his team’s resilience as they look to continue their playoff push away at DC United.
The visitors are in an impressive run of form, climbing up to sixth in the Western Conference after eight games without defeat.
A 2-1 victory against Columbus Crew most recently maintained that run and Struber was delighted with his team’s work as he outlined the principles that will be integral to their success.
“When we speak about resilience, what we need in some difficult moments, and now we realize, we have completely a different mindset in difficult moments. Struber said.
“When we get sometimes a hit in the face, now we can manage that, now we can handle that.
“The win (against the Crew), in the end, was extremely deserved.
“Our energy, our power, our spirit today and the belief – also after the penalty – the boys show me they will win today and I think this was, in the end, the most important thing.”
DC, by contrast, are looking to respond to a 6-0 crushing last time out against New York City FC as they dropped out of the playoff positions.
Having held a playoff spot for most the season, the Black-and-Red are now in danger of missing out but head coach Hernan Losada remains confident.
“Everything is in our hands, and we still have 12 points to win … I have absolute confidence (in reaching the playoffs),” Losada said.
“I think that if there is someone who believed in this team, it was us because nobody believed that we could be that competitive or difficult for any rival.
“The chances are intact, and we will continue to believe as we believed from the beginning of the season when nobody believed in us.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
DC United – Ole Kamara
Ola Kamara will continue to star at the opposite end of the pitch, having netted 17 goals in 25 MLS appearances so far this season.
New York Red Bulls – Cristian Casseres
Cristian Casseres has been in fine form going forward, having contributed two goals and two assists in his last four appearances.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Including playoff meetings, this will be the 97th match between D.C. United and the Red Bulls in MLS, the most-played fixture in league history. D.C. has won two of the last four meetings (D1 L1) after going winless in the previous 10 encounters (D5 L5).
– D.C. United’s 6-0 loss to New York City FC on Saturday was the third time the club has conceded six goals in a match and the first since 2000 against the Miami Fusion. The six-goal margin of defeat was the largest in the club’s MLS history.
– The Red Bulls have won four straight matches, their longest winning streak since a five-match run to end the 2018 regular season. New York is unbeaten in eight straight matches, collecting 20 points (W6 D2) in that time, nearly as many as it had in its first 22 league matches this season (23).
– Ola Kamara has scored in each of the first two meetings between D.C. United and the Red Bulls this season. The last D.C. player to score in three matches against the Red Bulls in a single regular season was Jaime Moreno in 2000. Two New York players have done so more recently (Lloyd Sam in 2015 and Rodrigo Faria in 2001).
– Cristian Cásseres Jr. has been involved in five of the Red Bulls’ last six goals (2 goals, 3 assists), including a goal and an assist against Columbus on Saturday. Cásseres has scored six goals this season, one more than he managed in his first three MLS seasons combined.