New York Red Bulls vs. CD FAS | CONCACAF Champions League Match Preview

New York Red Bulls vs. CD FAS
2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League
August 26 | 8 pm ET | Red Bull Arena
TV: Fox Sports 2

The New York Red Bulls open their CONCACAF Champions League campaign already with a six-point deficit to make up against the Group 3-leading Montreal Impact, and their matchup with Salvadoran side FAS has already been dubbed by head coach Mike Petke as "need to win." FAS, on the other hand are fighting for their CCL survival, knowing that after two straight losses to Montreal to open up the campaign, nothing less than a win will keep their advancement chances alive.


THE LINEUP QUESTION: Indications are that the group that takes the field Tuesday night for the Red Bulls will not be a first-team group, per se, but nor will it be an inexperienced group. Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave could sit out, but new forward Saer Sene would be a good candidate to start after logging his first minutes in a New York Red Bulls uniform, while veterans Eric Alexander and Peguy Luyindula are also prime candidates to start.

GOAL DIFFERENCE: Though the two matches with the Impact will likely settle this group between the two MLS sides, goal difference will come into play if the they play to identical results against each other, and in determining seeding for the knockout stages. The Impact beat FAS by one goal in each of their matchups, giving New York a good chance to better them in that facet of group play down the road.

FLOUNDERING FAS: Though the Salvadorans have played the Impact close twice, they ultimately came away with nothing to show for it, a story mimicked in their league campaign. They are currently 1-1-2 after four games in their domestic league, with only two goals to their name. On paper, this should be a straightforward task for the Red Bulls, but an understrength lineup from New York may complicate things.


Players to Watch

  • Peguy Luyindula, New York Red Bulls: The veteran Frenchman has the chance to be a major difference-maker Tuesday should his compatriot Henry sit out. He is a known commodity for the Red Bulls, a player who can take on creative responsibilities and chip in with the occasional goal. Also comes with plenty of experience in continental competition from his time in Europe.
  • Jonathan Águila, FAS: The 23-year-old has found his scoring touch at FAS in the last couple seasons, but is looking to get his 2014-15 goal total off the ground. He has appeared in every FAS game to date in both the league and CCL and will likely get another opportunity to make his breakthrough at Red Bull Arena.