The New York Red Bulls suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss against the LA Galaxy on Sunday. The loss ended their four match unbeaten run and killed their momentum ahead of their crucial remaining four games.
They find themselves in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and if the season ended today they would make the playoffs ahead of Toronto in 6th. However the season doesn't end today, and despite the big loss in LA on Sunday they should fancy their chances to make the postseason.
It's likely to go right to the wire but the Red Bulls boast one of the best home records in recent months (6-0-2 in their last eight games) and fortunately for them their next three games are at home before they wrap up their season away at Sporting Kansas City.
My guess is three wins should see them clinch a playoff berth, maybe even seven points depending on other results around the league, however you don't want to be wishing for other teams to do you favors at this stage of the season. As mentioned previously their home form has been excellent and furthermore, their from against next opponents Houston Dynamo has been equally excellent in recent years.
In their last 7 games against the Dynamo, New York are 4-0-3 and when they last met at the Red Bull Arena in April, Bradley Wright-Phillips netted a hat-rick in a 4-0 win. BWP has also scored in two other games against Houston making his record against them six goals in four games. There's no doubt he will be raring to go come Saturday.
The Red Bulls following game is a crucial one as they welcome Toronto FC, who are one point behind them with a game in hand. If they can get the give up no points to Toronto and get the three themselves they will really fancy their chances going into their final home game against The Columbus Crew.
In the Columbus Crew they face a side who currently sit one place above them and two points better off. If they can string two wins together before the match up with Columbus you can bank on the likes of Henry and Cahill stepping up and using their experience to get the Red Bulls over the line and into the postseason for a fifth season on the bounce.
However, it's worth mentioning that after losing to LA last weekend anything but three wins in their home games would be a disaster for the Red Bulls especially considering two of the teams are they face are also very much in the hunt for playoff football.
Kansas City away on the last day of the regular season will be a tough ask. Especially with them chasing playoffs. Henry & co would like to have it wrapped up before then.
Wide players Lloyd Sam and Ambroise Oyongo both missed the loss at LA with hamstring injuries but head coach Mike Pekte has revealed that Sam should return for the game against Houston:
“Lloyd is looking good, and Lloyd is expected, knock on some wood, to be back for this weekend,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke in his weekly conference call on Tuesday. “His was a minor thing that we didn’t feel too comfortable taking a chance with.”
As for Oyongo though, his injury looks a little more serious and is set to miss more time whilst he recovers from the injury sustained against CD FAS in the Champions League:
“Oyongo’s situation is a bit worse,” said Petke. “He’s got what looks to be a decent hamstring injury. His [availability] wasn’t even a question for last game...You never know. He’s young and he could have a heck of a recovery in the next couple days, but I’m planning on not having him again.”
Remaining Schedule (3 home, 1 away)
vs. Houston Dynamo (10/4 at 6:00 PM)
vs. Toronto FC (10/11 at 7:00 PM)
vs. Columbus Crew (10/19 at 3:00 PM)
at. Sporting Kansas City (10/26 at 8:30 PM)