There have been plenty of midweek matches in the Major League Soccer season this term and we have another of those on Wednesday night when the New York Red Bulls, fresh from a good win over the champions at the weekend, host the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Both sides have been in good form for the last few weeks which should make for something of an entertaining encounter, one which both will want to win to propel themselves further up the table. The match is live on TV in the UK so we don’t need to miss any of it.
New York Red Bulls
After one win in their first seven matches in their MLS campaign, largely affected by their challenge in the NACL, but since the disappointment of exiting that competition has subsided we have begun to see familiar results from a side who have been one of the best regular season challengers in recent times. They head into this match with four wins from five matches so confidence should be high.
Three of those victories have been at the Red Bull Arena where they compete here and two of those victories have been with a clean sheet. The Red Bulls have always been a free scoring side at this stage of the campaign so if they can regularly keep them out at the back then it shouldn’t be long before they are in the upper end of the Eastern Conference table where we are accustomed to seeing them.
We are also used to seeing the Vancouver Whitecaps in the upper end of the Western Conference although that is not where they are currently residing. That is understandable in many ways. They lost some key personnel at the end of last season and suffered the heartache of losing in the play-offs. A change in coach was another big factor in things but the good news is that their form is having an upgrade.
After a bunch of losses at the start of the campaign, the Whitecaps have only lost one of their last five and that was against the champions Atlanta United and there is no shame in that. They have two wins and two draws in that time too with the draws being against a Philadelphia Union side flying in the East, and Sporting Kansas City who are one of the better sides in the West historically. Vancouver have only conceded six goals in seven matches which gives them every chance of winning matches.
The New York Red Bulls will be without centre-back Tim Parker after his dismissal against Atlanta United on Sunday evening. Bradley Wright-Phillips remains listed as questionable but with plenty of games to come he could miss out again.
The Vancouver Whitecaps are without a host of players for this contest. Yordy Reyna is probably the biggest of them but Michael Baldisimo, Jasser Khmiri, David Norman Jr, Lass Bangoura and Doneil Henry are all ruled out. Felipe is rated as questionable.
I can’t see beyond the home side New York Red Bulls here. They had a wretched start to the season but they look to have found their straps in recent times and are now in the middle of a run of four wins in five matches, which with home advantage in midweek they should be capable of extending here as they look to progress in the Eastern Conference.
Vancouver Whitecaps stole a point from an injury ravaged Sporting Kansas City side at the weekend but even when SKC only had 10 men there wasn’t much to take out of the game from a Whitecaps point of view. Clearly they are missing a few influential players and that is hurting their style. To be fair they are not in bad form but their performances haven’t been as good as their results have suggested and I fancy they will come unstuck here.
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