When the New York Red Bulls opened the 2018 season in February, they were playing in three different competitions -- the CONCACAF Champions League, U.S. Open Cup and, of course, the MLS regular season.
That forced a delicate lineup balance for Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch and resulted in fixture congestion, especially of late when they played a brutal stretch of five games in 15 days.
The Red Bulls lost in the CCL semifinals to eventual champion Chivas de Guadalajara and on Saturday fell to the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the Open Cup round of 16.
So now, there's a singular focus for the Red Bulls (8-4-2) beginning Saturday at Red Bull Arena against FC Dallas.
"I think it really creates clarity in our season as to what the objectives are and where we need to go from here," Marsch said. "I think that clarity has put the players in a position right now where the focus, concentration and energy is to get better every day and find a way to really go after the Supporters Shield this year and in the end go after MLS Cup." << Read more
Copyright 2018 by Associated Press