New York Red Bulls
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

For the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, Tim Parker and the defense will be critical against the Portland Timbers.

New York Red Bulls v. Portland Timbers
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
March 10, 2018

RBNY record against Timbers: 2W-2L-3T

Home Opener

The New York Red Bulls will head to Portland to face the Timbers in their first bout of the 2018 MLS season. This is an anticipated matchup as the New York Red Bulls with a bolstered defense seek to steal three home points from the 2017 first-seeded MLS Cup Playoff team in the West.

The New York Red Bulls attack is also strengthened by newly signed Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra and Carlos Rivas. The RBNY combination of a strong attack and solid defense will combat Diego Valeri, David Guzman and Fandeno Adi.

Defense is Key

The key to the New York Red Bulls success lies within its defensive capabilities. RBNY veterans Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence, and Michael Murillo are also joined by newcomer Tim Parker. In 2017 the RBNY defense logged 10 shutouts, second-most in the league. They also recorded a 1.38 goals against average. Consequently, this should improve with the introduction of Tim Parker in the back line.

In a trade with Vancouver, which involved Felipe, the 6’ 2” center-back from New York will certainly add height and strength to the back line. The 25-year-old is also a U.S. National Team prospect. He logged 32 games that resulted in seven shutouts and 10 games where his opponents scored only one-goal.

With Luis Robles in goal, the New York Red Bulls will certainly be a defensive powerhouse this season. RBNY logged two shutouts and only one goal against in CONCACAF Champions League play thus far. Therefore, expect on Saturday to see a hard-fought battle with the RBNY defense shining through in the home opener in Red Bull Arena.

Game Prediction

Portland Timbers: 1

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.