The first leg of the Eastern Conference final is almost here, and leading up to kickoff, both sides have prepared for the showdown on the practice pitch, in addition to sharing their general thoughts with media.
The Revs come into this match having lost their last match, 2-1, in early August, but since then, New England added USMNT standout Jermaine Jones to the roster after MLS gained his signature. The German-American has changed the functioning of the squad, and along with goal scorer Lee Nguyen, he’s helped players come alive, specifically forward Charlie Davies in the final part of the season.
Although the Revs are currently clicking on all cylinders, New York Red Bulls forward Tim Cahill really likes his side’s chances, especially at Red Bull Arena, calling NYRB the “better team.”
“Really, if you say, who do I feel is the better team, I feel we are,” Cahill said to MLSsoccer.com. “I’m confident whatever side we put out at home, we should beat these guys tomorrow, [but] they’re a great team and they’ve done really well.”
The 34-year-old understands this matchup to hold true importance, given the Red Bulls’ unfamiliar proximity to the MLS Cup and their position as favorites. He also points the majesty of Nguyen and Jones combined, emphasizing a team focus on the two players in order to shutdown New England.
“This is a chance for the boys to step up and make a name for themselves,” he said. “We’ve not been in contention properly to win an MLS Cup and this is our first really realistic chance, and I feel that we’re favorites to knock these off.
“I really feel if we can make sure that we minimize the ball to [Lee] Nguyen, and especially Jermaine Jones, then they’re going to have a lot of problems against us at home because we’ll definitely score, probably two goals tomorrow,” said Cahill. “It’s just whether or not we can make sure we don’t concede.”