New York City FC sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and owns the league's best road record. But coach Patrick Vieria says his squad remains humble heading into Sunday afternoon's road showdown with the rival New York Red Bulls.
"We will go to the game with humility like always," Vieira told the team's website. "We're going to go there knowing that it will be a difficult place to go, to dictate the game and try to play. We know what to expect from there. We will have to go there and be brave and play the way we played in the last few weeks and the last few months."
New York City (9-6-6) is in first place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points, five more than the Red Bulls. New York City is 6-3-1 on the road and coming off an impressive performance in a 3-1 victory at Montreal.
The Red Bulls (8-9-4) enter the game in third place in the Eastern Conference and have been stout on their home pitch, going 7-2-1 at Red Bulls Arena. They are also getting healthier.
Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was limited in training this week, but coach Jesse Marsch insists his leading goal scorer was just receiving a little rest. The Red Bulls also expect to have fullback Sal Zizzo for Sunday's game. Zizzo left last week's match against Philadelphia late in the second half, but trained in full Wednesday, according to the team's website, and should be fit against New York City.
The Red Bulls will be without defender Kemar Lawrence, though. He has yet to return from a groin injury sustained in Copa America play.
"Everybody's pretty much healthy," Marsch said. "Kemar is getting closer and closer each day. Hopefully we'll get him in training or close to it by the weekend."
This is the third meeting between the two Empire State rivals this season. The Red Bulls have dominated this series and embarrassed New York City 7-0 on May 21. It tied the MLS record for the largest margin of victory in league history. But New York City responded with a 2-0 win on July 3, their first victory over the Red Bulls in the series.
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