New York Red Bulls must improve when they host FC Dallas in MLS on Saturday, according to head coach Gerhard Struber.
The Red Bulls are still in search of their first home win of the campaign in what will be their fourth attempt at the Red Bull Arena.
New York boast a perfect away record, but fell to a 2-1 reverse at home to CF Montreal, and Struber knows his side must improve on home turf after that disappointment.
“We have a different expectation, and right now, I’m very disappointed,” Struber said ahead of the game. The level of the game (against Montreal), what we did or what we produced was not enough.”
“We are not sharp enough over the whole game time to bring the points home and we start, I think, well, and in our typical way.
“We have I think control in this time and we have to, yeah, to be clear in some transition moments and be more and more hungry to come in the opponent’s box. I think in some moments, we play backwards, and this is not what I expect.”
Dallas, meanwhile, are unbeaten in four games following a 3-1 victory over Colorado Rapids, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference.
Coach Nico Estevez, however, appreciates the threats that Struber’s energetic hosts will pose.
“I think Red Bulls is a team that’s known to press and provoke the opponent into making mistakes followed by quick transitions,” he said.
“Now, they’re trying to play out of the back a little bit more but usually they look for long balls and second balls to stress our back line.
“We’ll have to be very aware of that situation and be compact in order to win those second balls.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New York Red Bulls – Lewis Morgan
Lewis Morgan was a rare bright spark for the Red Bulls against Montreal, creating a game-leading three chances from his position inside the right-hand channel.
FC Dallas – Jesus Ferreira
Jesus Ferreira has five goals in 465 minutes of action in MLS this season and has earned a more prominent role for the United States. Estevez will be hoping he can continue his good form on the road.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·The Red Bulls have lost only one of their last 14 matches against FC Dallas (W9 D4, including playoffs) dating back to August 2009. New York has won the last two meetings between the sides, though their last three-match winning streak over Dallas was in 2002-03.
·The Red Bulls’ 2-1 defeat to Montreal on Saturday was the fourth straight home match without a win for New York (D2 L2). After winning four straight at Red Bull Arena in May-June last season, the Red Bulls have won just four of their last 15 home matches (D7 L4).
·FC Dallas has won three of its last four matches (D1), though all three of those wins came at home. Dallas is winless in its last eight road games (D4 L4), last recording an away win at Austin last August.
·The 2-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday after scoring first marked the 11th time since the start of last season that the Red Bulls failed to win a match in which they led. New York has dropped 28 points after leading since the start the 2021 season, only FC Cincinnati (29) has lost more in that time.
·After scoring two of the three goals against Colorado on Saturday, Jesús Ferreira has been involved in six of FC Dallas’ last seven goals (5 goals, 1 assist). Ferreira is the fifth player with multiple goals in consecutive starts for Dallas, something no player has done in three consecutive starts in team history.