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Apr 26, 2024 7:21 pm

Whitecaps, Red Bulls on solid footing entering rare matchup

Lewis Morgan Dante Vanzeir

A rare meeting between inter-conference opponents is set for Saturday night as the New York Red Bulls and the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps face each other for the first time since 2019.

The Red Bulls (4-1-4, 16 points), second in the Eastern Conference and two points behind Inter Miami with a match in hand, are unbeaten in their last five outings (2-0-3).

The Red Bulls have drawn their last two, most recently on April 20 at LAFC as a late 2-1 lead disappeared behind a Denis Bouanga equalizer in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

“It was definitely like a knife to the heart, honestly, not being able to come away with three points in that game,” Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Edelman said. “I think we have to take that performance and focus on how we can be locked in.”

The Red Bulls, whose last win was a 2-1 triumph at FC Cincinnati on April 6, will look to remain unbeaten at Red Bull Arena (2-0-1).

Vancouver, though, is a perfect 3-0-0 away from home. The Whitecaps (5-2-1, 16 points) enter Saturday’s match in second place in the West, two points behind the LA Galaxy with a match in hand.

“It’s going to be hard. They’re a team that [has] a very distinct and, I would say, peculiar style of play, like we do, to be honest,” Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini said of the Red Bulls. “So I think it needs to be a game where we need to be very, very intense … [and] very well organized.”

Lewis Morgan is the top scorer for New York with six goals, two behind Cristian Arango for the league lead. Dante Vanzeir enters Saturday tied for the MLS lead with six assists.

Brian White, the leading scorer for the Whitecaps in 2023 with 15 goals, has a team-high four goals to go with a pair of assists. The ex-Red Bulls’ striker is set to face his former team for the first time since being traded to Vancouver in June 2021.

–Field Level Media

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