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Friday, August 18, the New York Red Bulls will face Western Conference Portland Timbers to continue their MLS playoff push.

Seemingly out of the Supporters’ Shield race, the New York Red Bulls head to Portland to continue their playoff push.

While RBNY is in the top four in the Shield race, they sit at the very bottom. About nine points from first place Toronto.

With RBNY’s focus on a US Open Cup title, for now, a solid playoff spot is certainly achievable.

Tomorrow, August 18, RBNY travel to Portland for their regular season match number 24 on the season. Portland currently sits 11 overall and fifth in the West. Here’s a comparison of the two teams:


Place- Fourth in East
Points- 38
PPG- 1.65
GP- 23


Place- Fifth in West
Points- 34
PPG- 1.36
GP- 25

These teams are fairly close in points and placement. RBNY, however, declared themselves a major team of a powerful Eastern Conference. In a conference where the sixth place team holds 35 points, Portland would certainly be questioning their playoff hopes.

RBNY’s push for a top two spot in the East will have to see a win in Portland. A return from Aurelien Collin could be possible for Friday’s match. A much-needed addition after the horrific defending against Cincinnati in the recent US Open Cup semi-final.

RBNY holds the edge with three wins when meeting with Portland. RBNY, while away, has seen one win and two draws. A major win out west in a tough soccer atmosphere will certainly give RBNY confidence going into the last stretch of the season.

Players to watch:


Bradley Wright-Phillips (14 season goals)

Tyler Adams
Alex Muyl
Sacha Kljestan


Diego Valeri (13 season goals)
Davis Guzman
Darlington Nagbe

Statistically, most of Portland’s play has gone through Diego Valeri. He has scored three goals in his last three games. Furthermore, Valeri has totaled eight shots in the same time. Valeri also leads the team in assists with eight.

If RBNY can isolate the Valeri threat, all three points will be coming back home to New York.

RBNY, on the other hand, has seen a holistic approach to their play. In the US Open Cup semi-final match we saw two goals from BWP, but a huge lift from Gonzalo Veron and Tyler Adams.

Multiple threats from RBNY will have Portland’s hands full. BWP has scored four goals in his last three MLS games. Six if you count the last US Open Cup match. Sacha Kljestan has three assists in his last three MLS games. He also has six shots.

The success of an RBNY victory will be their offensive pressure and the team’s ability to rack up shots on goal. It is proven that when RBNY shoot on goal more than their opponent, they will come away victorious.

Chris Sudol is a former college soccer player who now avidly supports the New York Red Bulls, Arsenal, and Barcelona, among many other soccer teams.