New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber insists his side are reaching “the peak of the iceberg” as they prepare to host Portland Timbers in MLS.

The Red Bulls extended to a four-game winning run across all competitions with a late 2-1 win over Chicago Fire, moving a point behind Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union.

New York became the second team in league history to win their opening five road fixtures of a campaign, and Struber has been delighted with his team’s progress.

“We can speak about the process that makes me proud, we can speak about every single player in my dressing room, they live the professional football life,” he said.

“We make so many steps in so many directions, we could speak a long time in which areas we make the right improvements, but I think you can see the peak of the iceberg outside.

“We know here inside what we did in the last few months and in the last season that we have right now a powerful team.”

The Timbers fell to a 2-0 defeat to Colorado Rapids last time out, leaving Portland 10th in the Western Conference, and coach Giovanni Savarese implored his side to bounce back.

“It is always a difficult place to go play, but we had our moments before they scored their first goal,” he said.

“We have to make sure we don’t concede again like we did the second goal, we need a little bit more from the players, we need them to show up.

“We’re going to have to put a lot, a lot of work, we need guys to bring a different level because the results have not been good enough.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York Red Bulls – Patryk Klimala

Patryk Klimala was the difference against the Fire last game, notching a match-winning brace with his second and third goals of the MLS campaign.

Portland Timber – Cristhian Paredes

Cristhian Paredes was a constant presence against the Rapids, competing for a game-leading 11 duels and a game-high three tackles.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·The Red Bulls have won their last two matches against Portland and have lost only two of the 10 all-time MLS encounters (W5 D3). The Timbers have averaged 0.90 points per match against the Red Bulls, only taking fewer against Orlando (0.83) among teams they’ve faced at least five times.

·The Red Bulls tied an MLS record with a fifth straight away win to start the season, winning 2-1, in Chicago on Saturday. New York, however, is winless at home this season (D2 L2), the second time in club history the Red Bulls have failed to win any of their first four home games of a season (5 straight to start 2005).

·The Timbers have just 11 points through 10 games this season. While Portland is notoriously slow starters, this is the fifth time its had fewer than 13 points through 10 games. The Timbers missed the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons it had 12 or fewer points at this stage.

·Patryk Klimala came off the bench to score both the equalizer and winner for New York against the Fire on Saturday. Klimala became the seventh player to score multiple goals off the bench for the Red Bulls and the first since Alex Muyl against San Jose in March 2019.

·The Timbers have gone scoreless in three straight matches, the fourth time they’ve failed to score in three consecutive games, and the first since September 2019. Portland has never gone four straight MLS matches without a goal.