Red Bulls look to continue surge vs. Impact (Jul 29, 2017)
The New York Red Bulls struggled out of the gate this season, but seemed to have found their stride in July.
The Red Bulls have won three straight MLS matches and five consecutive games overall. They'll look to keep the momentum going when the struggling Montreal Impact visit Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
The Red Bulls (10-11-1, 32 points) are coming off a 3-0 win over Minnesota and have outscored their last five opponents 13-4, including two wins in Open Cup play over Philadelphia and New England.
"I think that the Open Cup helped us, but I also think that we got fitter," New York coach Jesse Marsch said. "We used the early break in June to push some fitness. I think that around this time every year we've seen to come together at the right moment. We've gathered momentum. Overall, there's been a lot of progress in general."
It's been an up-and-down campaign for the Impact (6-7-6, 24 points), who enter Saturday's game in ninth place on the Eastern Conference table. Montreal has alternated wins and losses in their last five matches and is coming off a 2-1 defeat to FC Dallas on Sunday.
There was a positive to take away from the loss to Dallas. Midfielder Ignacio Piatti returned to the pitch after missing time with injuries. Piatti came off the bench against Dallas, but is expected to start Saturday against the Red Bulls.
New York midfielder Sacha Kljestan broke out of a season-long scoring slump last week. He scored his first goal of the season and recorded three assists in the Red Bulls' wins over Minnesota and San Jose. With his assist against Minnesota, Kljestan passed Thierry Henry and became New York's all-time leader in assists.
"I can't say I'm not proud," Kljestan told reporters of reaching the career milestone. "To move in front of a guy like Thierry Henry is pretty special, and to do it in 2 1/2 years says something. I'm proud of it. I'm happy we got a win overall. I'm proud of my career with the Red Bulls so far, and hopefully it's just begun."