October 27, 2011
BRING ON THE GALAXY
Red Bulls ready to tackle Supporters Shields winners
FRISCO, Texas -- It is a dream match-up Major League Soccer would have loved to have seen in MLS Cup -- the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy.
|Joel Lindpere: "We know we have two games so we don’t need to worry. We just need to keep working like we have done lately – as a team.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
But the league will have to settle for a confrontation in the conference semifinals (aka the league quarterfinals).
After vanquishing FC Dallas on Wednesday night, 2-0, Red Bulls will host the Galaxy in the total goals series at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Sunday at 3 p.m. before playing in Los Angeles next Thursday. The winner will reach the conference final (MLS semifinals) against the winner of the Seattle Sounders FC-Real Salt Lake confrontation.
The Red Bulls go into the series confident, having been one of the few teams that compiled an unbeaten record against LA. They played the Galaxy to a 1-1 tie in May and defeated a depleted-LA side at home, 1-0, on Oct. 4.
"We'll try to cause an upset," said Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry, who scored an insurance goal in stoppage time on Wednesday night.
"They were two great soccer games," Red Bulls captain and striker Thierry Henry said. "You know we're going to play. You know that they're going to play, too. But we have a lot of respect for them. We know that they were the best team in the league this year. We know the task is going to be very difficult. We are one of the few teams that was able to beat them. They also know that.
"It's playoff time know. We're going to have to have a big game at home before we go to their place. As you know, it was important today not to go for extratime. Let's go back home early. let's see if we can recover and have a good game on Sunday."
Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere, who connected for the winning goal against Dallas, also is looking forward to the encounter against the likes of Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane.
"It’s going to be an interesting game,' he said. "A lot of chances will make it a wide open game. We know we have two games so we don’t need to worry. We just need to keep working like we have done lately – as a team.”
Henry downplayed the Red Bulls' confidence level, even if they are 4-1-1 in their last six games.
"The confidence level doesn't mean anything in the playoffs," he said. ".We went through today. We won against Dallas, but we know it's going to be way more difficult against LA. We have seen it in the league this year. We know it's not going to be easy. Don't get me wrong. We are in a better situation now, they way we are playing mentally. The team looks much stronger because we are playing as a team. I know now, everybody's is going to say, 'LA against the Red Bulls is going to be a big game.' But they are the favorites. We'll try to cause an upset."