An entertaining weekend in the MLS concludes on Sunday evening when two of the more attacking sides in the competition meet for the first time when the New York Red Bulls play host to the Los Angeles FC at the Red Bull Arena.
Both sides are high up in their respective conferences but both have seen teams around them pick up points this weekend so there is a need for the pair of them to reply in kind and get something on the board themselves.
New York Red Bulls
It is no surprise that the New York Red Bulls are riding high in the Eastern Conference. They are perennially high up in that table. One of the reason for that is the quality and goalscoring record of Bradley Wright-Phillips but also because they have a solid defence and historically they have been tough to beat at home.
Their regular season success is testament to their ability because generally in American sport the cyclical nature of it with draft picks and things means that there should not be a period of domination so the Red Bulls have gone against the tide. The other thing to admire is how they have maintained their good form despite their coach swapping the Red Bull franchise in New York for Leipzig.
Los Angeles FC
Given the season they are having and the quality they have shown, it is easy to forget that this is the first campaign in MLS for Los Angeles FC. They have brought an attacking verve to the competition and have already established themselves as one of the best teams in the Western Conference and that is not an easy thing to do.
When you consider the lack of time they had to build a squad and the lack of options in it early on in the season, not to mention the fact they gad to play away from home for the first couple of months or so while their home ground was being constructed, the efforts of the Los Angeles side is even more commendable.
Both sides appear to be close to full strength for this contest with the exception of Marc-Anthony Kaye being missing for the visitors, which should make for an entertaining night of football. That will mean we get to see Kaku and Bradley Wright-Phillips against Carlos Vela and Adama Diomande as these two attacking units collide.
I’m expecting an open and entertaining match here. Sometimes in football these days you get away sides go on their travels and clam up and shut up the shop and look to contain but that has never been Bob Bradley’s style and it certainly isn’t that of Los Angeles FC either.
New York Red Bulls take their game to their opponents as well and the style of these two should blend nicely for goals. Six of the last eight MLS matches for LAFC have had more than 3.5 goals while two of the last three at the Red Bull Arena have had to. I’ll back those trends to continue.
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