Red Bulls-Toronto FC Preview
The New York Red Bulls have to like their chances of ending a three-game winless run on the road in MLS play Saturday.
Toronto FC has not won a league match at BMO Field in nearly a year, and New York enters this matchup unbeaten in the last eight meetings in this series.
New York (9-7-4) has been outscored 6-1 in going 0-2-1 in its last three on the road, but posted a 2-1 victory at Toronto FC (2-10-7) on April 27 behind Tim Cahill's two goals. The Red Bulls are 6-0-2 in the series since a 2-0 loss June 24, 2009.
Toronto is 0-7-8 in MLS play at BMO Field since a 2-1 victory over Colorado on July 18, 2012. The club is 0-3-5 at home since a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on March 9 that was moved to the Rogers Centre.
New York won't be battling fatigue as much as Toronto will be.
Red Bulls coach Mike Petke rested several starters and substituted liberally in Tuesday's 2-all home draw in a friendly with French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais. Thierry Henry, who has a team-high seven goals, sat out.
"There were no injuries," Petke said. "We scored two goals and stayed healthy. We got a good run. My expectations for this game were that we stayed healthy and got a good run. That's what we got.''
Toronto, meanwhile, endured a long and fruitless journey to California for Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Chivas USA - which had been winless in 14 straight. It marked the fourth time Toronto was shut out during a 0-3-2 slide even though it enjoyed a man advantage over the final 65 minutes.
Coach Ryan Nelsen actually felt a red card on Chivas hurt his team.
"I think when it was 11 v. 11, we were by far the stronger team," Nelsen said. "Everything was going to plan. And when Chivas lost a man, it kind of put them in a shell and they got numbers behind the ball and they made it very hard for us to break them down."
Top scorer Robert Earnshaw, who has six goals, should be OK to start for the third time in eight days since he was substituted at halftime Wednesday.
Nelsen will also have midfielder Reggie Lambe back from suspension.
Jonathan Osorio has developed into a starter for Nelsen since the first meeting. He scored an 83rd-minute equalizer as a substitute in that match before Cahill won it for the Red Bulls in the 89th.
The Red Bulls' last MLS contest was a 4-0 home victory over Montreal last Saturday that Petke called "the most complete game we've played this season."
Henry ended a four-game drought without a goal, Cahill halted a three-game goalless run and Eric Alexander and Peguy Luyindula also found the back of the net.
Toronto features the league's second-worst offense with 17 goals in 19 games and has also been assessed the second-most yellow cards in MLS with 40.