Red Bull Are In Chicago
Sixth-seeded New York Red Bulls (14-12-8) will travel to face third-seeded Chicago Fire (16-11-7) in the first of two 2017 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Knockout Round matches on Wednesday.
Red Bull vs Fire is set to kick at 8:30 p.m. ET at Toyota Park and will be broadcast nationally on FS1 and UniMas alongside New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish.
Wednesday's Knockout Round matchup features New York, who appears in MLS playoffs for the eighth-straight year, which is the second longest active streak in the league, whereas Chicago snapped a four-year playoff drought, which was tied for the longest active streak with San Jose entering the season. One contributing factor to Chicago's success during the regular season and ending their playoff drought was the acquisition of previous Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty as the team saw an uptick in goals per game (+0.6) and decrease in goals allowed per game (-0.3), per Opta.
New York and Chicago have faced each other just three previous times in MLS playoffs, all of which came in 2000. The Fire bested the Red Bulls winning two of the three matches.
The Red Bulls are 2-0 in the MLS Knockout Round/Wildcard matches, earning wins at FC Dallas, 2-0 on Oct. 26, 2011 and at home against Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Oct. 30, 2014. Bradley Wright-Phillips was a major factor in New York's most recent Knockout Round matchup against SKC, as he scored both goals, one in the 77th and one in the 90th to advance.
New York is 6-11-3 all-time in MLS playoffs when starting the postseason on the road. Under head coach Jesse Marsch, the Red Bulls are 1-1-0 when opening the playoffs away from Red Bull Arena.
If the Red Bulls advance to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals, New York will face top-seeded Toronto. Leg One of the Semifinals would be at Red Bull Arena on either Monday, Oct. 30 or Tuesday, Oct. 31, while Leg Two would be in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 5.