HANOVER, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls have enjoyed one of the best home records in MLS since Red Bull Arena opened in 2010. They credit this success, in large part, due to loud home support.
In Tuesday night’s second-leg Concacaf Champions League semifinal (8 pm ET | Univision Deportes, go90.com), however, the Red Bulls are prepared for the possibility of legions of Chivas fans cutting into their home-field advantage.
The home leg against the Mexican side, who lead 1-0 on aggregate thanks to their home win last week, presents an interesting scenario. The Red Bulls, while the hosts, may see their fanbase equaled or even outnumbered in their own building. Chivas are one of the most popular clubs not just in Mexico, but the entire continent, and Red Bull Arena should be buzzing for what might be the biggest match in the stadium’s history.
“It’s always a little bit weird, but obviously you want to see a crowd that’s filled instead of not filled, with whoever’s fans it is,” RBNY midfielder Tyler Adams said following training on Saturday.
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“You act like they’re cheering for you and you go on with the game," he said. "It’s always nice to be at home, no matter what.”
Like Adams, forward Bradley Wright-Phillips used the word “weird” when asked about the expected influx of Chivas support on Tuesday night. He added he expects “a good atmosphere” all the way around.
While the atmosphere might tilt towards the visitors on Tuesday, one very important friend of the Red Bulls may turn up.
Mother Nature might be red, with rain expected Tuesday, bringing down temperatures from afternoon into evening. While it is expected to be dry around match time, kickoff temperatures in the upper 30s would probably discomfit the visitors from the south, with a warm front forecast to hold off until Wednesday morning.
“Cold weather, I think would be an advantage,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “Obviously we want all our fans to come out and support us. We know that our fans will be there and be loud, right? But there also will be a Chivas contingent. It makes for a very energetic game, a fun game. To have that kind of atmosphere in a game will be great. We certainly want to encourage all our fans to come out. On Tuesday night, man, come out.”