Red Bulls Talk On Playing LA Galaxy With Zlatan Ibrahimovich

Following Tuesday training, head coach Jesse Marsch, homegrown midfielder Sean Davis and Long Island-native Tim Parker met with the media ahead of this weekend’s trip to Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy on Saturday night at the StubHub Center (10:30 p.m. ET, MSG, MSG GO and Red Bulls Radio).

Jesse Marsch

Preparing for LA Galaxy:

First, we will have a tough stretch now and it starts with LA and then there are a few games after that start to mean that our season gets pretty difficult. We have to take it one game at a time and certainly we know that going to the Galaxy will be a big challenge. I think they are a good team, I think they are much improved from last year obviously with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic that means that he is always a threat and keeping tracking of him especially in the box will be important. We will have to go there and be better, we will have to go there and be on top of our details and our tactics better and make sure that we are ready for a big challenge. Always going to the West Coast there are so many things that add up going coast-to-coast and what the games require. We will need to make sure we get 11 good performances and really go after the game.

How Tim Parker and Aaron Long stack up against Ibrahimovic:

The thing that Ibrahimovic does is he can off-balance you in a lot of ways. He obviously is good aerially in the box, but he is even better at putting little combination plays together, seeing the final plays, striking balls, obviously his cleverness around the goal. They are going to know him pretty well, but the question is how do you stop him on the day and it will be up to some individual moments and our ability to track him.

Sean Davis

Reflecting on Chicago match and moving forward to LA:

Yeah, I think the Chicago game was a really important experience for us, obviously a disappointing result, but at the end of the day, they outcompeted us and that’s disappointing but it is something to learn from. We have had a lot of games in a short amount time this point in the season, so it is good to get that kind of game out of the way and now looking forward to a really tough game in LA.

Tim Parker

Reflecting on Chicago match and moving forward to LA:

There is a lot of disappointment within the guys about last week’s game. We really didn’t look ourselves, we had opportunities to score, but didn’t necessarily put the ball in the back of the net. I thought we limited them, I think we gave up two set-pieces, which hasn’t been our strong suit lately, but we have to toughen that up and sometimes when a guy hits a goal like that you have to give credit where credit is due and it was a great goal for him to score, but I think overall we can’t be happy with the way we played.

News and Notes

• Despite the loss to Chicago last Saturday, New York has had their best statistical start to a season under head coach Jesse Marsch. Through six league matches, New York has scored 14 goals, own a plus-six goal differential, have generated 48 shots on goal in 100 attempts and have held teams to just 22 shots on goal on 56 attempts, all of which are top marks under Marsch since 2015.

• Bradley Wright-Phillips inched a step closer to his quest for 100 league goals as he tallied his 91st against Chicago on Saturday. He sits with a team-best five goals this season and is just one behind Atlanta’s Josef Martinez for the league lead. Wright-Phillips has scored against 18 of 22 active MLS opponents (yet to face LAFC) and one of the remaining teams he looks to cross off is the Galaxy. In four matches, he has been held scoreless against Los Angeles in 308 minutes with five shots on goal in 13 attempts.

• On the defensive side, center back duo Aaron Long and Tim Parker have made a formidable partnership since Parker’s arrival on March 5. In eight matches across all competitions, the duo has helped limit the oppositions’ chances to just 4.1 shots on goal on 9.4 attempts per game and owning a 4-3-1 mark. In league play, Long and Parker have anchored the backline to allow just 3.2 shots on goal on 7.2 attempts per game with a 2-2 record.