Plenty at stake for SKC, RBNY

The two sides are separated by just two points in the Eastern Conference table
as Sporting occupies first place on 51 points and New York sits third on 49
points.

A subplot to the match will be if Sporting can add a victory to its league-
best road record of 7-4-2 on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena, a venue at which the
Red Bulls are still unbeaten this season.

“Obviously, we’re trying to get three points,” Sporting defender Matt Besler
told MLSsoccer.com. “We never try to get just one point from anywhere. We’re
certainly aware of the threat that New York brings, especially at home.
They’re a very good team, so we’re going to have to be cautious on the
defensive end. But at the same time, we’re going for three.”

Wednesday’s tilt will be the second of three meetings between the two clubs
this term. Sporting and New York played to a 1-1 draw at Livestrong Sporting
Park on August 26, and Kansas City will return to Red Bull Arena once more on
October 20.

“The big thing will be the travel, the recovery, the travel again and then
getting ready for the next game,” head coach Peter Vermes said. “We’ve been on
that roller coaster before. We’re not new to it. We’ll just have to make sure
that everybody’s ready to go and play.

“We just have to be alert and concentrated for 90-plus minutes, especially
with this first game against New York.”

Heading into the massive clash against Sporting, Red Bulls head coach Hans
Backe insisted that his squad is feeling fresh despite an intense match, which
it won 3-1, against the Columbus Crew at the weekend.

“Everyone looks quite fresh, I must say,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s only
Wilman [Conde], picked up probably just a bruise and will train tomorrow, but
everyone looks fresh. I think it’s definitely a possibility to play the same
lineup.”

The Red Bulls are riding a five-game unbeaten streak and are well-positioned
for a strong finish to the regular season. Four of their last six games,
including Wednesday’s tilt with Sporting, are at home. It’s two road games are
at the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union, giving the club a light
travel schedule ahead of the playoffs.