FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The looming threat at Red Bull Arena is there for every New England player to see.
After all, it is nearly impossible to miss the glittering form displayed by New York duo Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry so far this season. Cooper and Henry have combined to score 15 goals in seven matches and unsettle each and every defense they have encountered.
WATCH: NBC Sports Network Preview - NY vs. NE
The two in-form strikers will do their best to extend their torrid streak on Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm, NBC Sports Network, Live Chat on MLSsoccer.com), but Revolution defender A.J. Soares expressed confidence that he and his teammates can cope with the dangers posed by the Red Bulls and push forward to secure a first win in three attempts.
“You have to respect their weapons, but you can't be scared of them,” Soares told MLSsoccer.com. “We have to trust that we're going to defend well and keep the ball well. That's what we can do. We've showed this year that we can go out there and be a really good team on any given day.”
Every New England player will have to pull his weight in order to secure a result in the first of three league matches between the I-95 rivals this season. Revolution coach Jay Heaps will likely alter his starting XI – Benny Feilhaber will surely come in for his first start in more than a month, while Ryan Guy (calf) will have to wait to see if he can feature – a bit for the match, but he will still demand the cohesiveness required to cope with the array of threats posed by the home side.
“It's important how we defend as a unit,” Heaps said. “You can't defend what they do just by marking one or two guys and staying on them. It's impossible with the way they flow and the way they move.”
The road to three points starts by disrupting the Red Bulls' attack, but it doesn't end there. It will take a combination of application, diligence and tidiness to expose the rickety and undermanned Red Bulls at the back and thwart the home side's expected emotional response to a humbling 4-1 defeat at D.C. United on Sunday.
“We want to make sure that we can play our game,” Heaps said. “If I know [New York coach] Hans Backe – and I respect his work – he's going to have his guys fired up to play. We have to make sure we bring the intensity that they're going to bring.”