Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull New York and the New England Revolution will renew their rivalry on Saturday when the two sides meet at Red Bull Arena.
Both sides are coming off of midweek fixtures as the Red Bulls earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake while the Revs ended their horrid eight-game losing skid with a 3-0 defeat of the Colorado Rapids.
Wednesday's home win over the Rapids was a welcomed result for the Revs following a disappointing loss to the Columbus Crew last weekend, a result that saw New England squander an early lead.
"It's been a tough stretch obviously and within that stretch there have been ups and downs, and more downs," head coach Jay Heaps said. "I felt that, to be honest with you, the let-down from Saturday was big and so I'm proud of our guys for the quick turnaround. We were really prepared for tonight's match and the guys were ready for that. We did a lot of film, a lot of walk through stuff, going into tonight's game, and all the guys were on point."
The clean sheet played a big part in the victory. It was New England's first in league play since a 5-0 demolition of Seattle Sounders FC on May 11, and Heaps lauded the complete performance of mistake-free defending.
"I think defensively, obviously, we didn't give up a goal. And I think it was a complete defensive performance," said the Revs boss. "Everyone was locked in and I think we've had a couple of those games with one mistake here, one mistake there, that really causes a problem. But I think tonight everyone was spot on in how they approached the game defensively."
New York has struggled defensively all season, as well. The Red Bulls have conceded 10 goals over their last six league games; their last shutout came on June 8 against New England.
A major concern for New York has been its penchant for squandering leads, but the club reversed that trend on Wednesday by coming from behind to get a point at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Red Bulls dug themselves a big hole by leaking a first-half goal to Joao Plata, but they answered in the second half through Thierry Henry's brilliant strike from outside the penalty area.
"I saw that Nick Rimando could not see where the ball was, and I just finished it," Henry said. "Great work on the pass from Tim Cahill, and I just have to finish it.
"Overall, I thought that, obviously Real Salt Lake played really well. We came back in the game. It wasn't one of our best games, I can say, but sometimes you have to get a result like that, especially in a place like Salt Lake. Usually we come here and we lose. It's a draw. We are not extremely happy with it, but sometimes you have to save something out of a game and we did tonight."
New York has a dense fixture list in the coming months due to the commencement of CONCACAF Champions League play. And with the Red Bulls experiencing a great deal of travel in a short space of time, head coach Mike Petke may be tempted to make a few changes to the lineup against New England on Saturday.
"We've got some tired guys," the Red Bulls boss said after the draw. "Obviously, we're in altitude here in Salt Lake, and Salt Lake's a very good team that gets the ball moving and gets you moving. So guys are a bit hurting right now, a little sore, we'll have to wait for tomorrow to see how the guys are responding, and we have a big game this weekend."
08/01 17:02:45 ET