Painting the picture against the Red Bulls

11 cruel days for the New York club

Watch out for the Red Bulls. They’ll certainly be angry on Saturday at 1pm, when the Impact visits Harrison, New Jersey (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690): no wins in three games, a frustrating elimination in their Champions League semi-final against Chivas, and a heartbreaking loss in Orlando.

No matter the opponent’s current situation, the Impact will have its work cut out at Red Bull Arena, a stadium where the club has never earned a point in MLS regular season play (in the playoffs, it’s another story). Saphir Taïder, unfortunately, won’t be able to partake, suspended after receiving a red card against New England, but the club’s other Designated Player, Nacho Piatti, should be good to go. Here are the three keys to the game against New York.

1. Be aware defensively

Jesse March’s proteges like playing in tight spaces and combining to create shooting opportunities. The Impact will have to be sharp in its man-marking and seal the critical channels, while being spot on in its anticipations, to try and stop New York’s passing plays. And against a rival, we don’t necessarily hold back…

2. Seize their opportunities

Montreal’s destiny could have been quite different last Friday at Gillette Stadium, but the few good opportunities the team had didn’t trouble the opponent’s ‘keeper all that much. The Impact will have to be confident in front of Luis Robles’ net, a goalkeeper who’s already earned five shutouts this year.

3. Patience and discipline

It is possible that the Red Bulls will keep possession for long periods of time on their home turf. The Impact cannot be phased by these long bouts of possession – on the contrary, they’ll need to stay focused, without letting themselves get too stretched out.