Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull New York will go for its first win of the season on Sunday when the club welcomes Chivas USA to Red Bull Arena.
The reigning Supporters' Shield winners have taken just two points from their first three matches of the season, but second-year head coach Mike Petke is confident that the Red Bulls can find their groove.
"We have 31 games left. Sometimes things take time to gel and click and as of now, like I said, it needs to continue to improve and it has," Petke said. "From the first game, to the second game, particularly to the third game, and it's just about getting into a rhythm and I have confidence these guys are doing that. No, there's no concern at all, not at all."
Traditionally, a team would be given strong odds to pick up maximum points from a home game against Chivas, but the Goats' strong start to the season indicates that Wilmer Cabrera's men could get a positive result at RBA.
"They are a much more organized team. They get back in somewhat of a 4-4-2, pretty much, and they move together well and they make it very difficult for opponents to penetrate and get them through them," Petke said of Chivas USA. "They do have a bit of flair going forward. They don't over-commit, they're very balanced in their transition game, they have a high work rate, and guys who love to get forward and get to the attack."
At the heart of Chivas USA's strong start has been striker Erick Torres, who has bagged three goals in the club's first three games and produced the lone Goats goal in the club's 3-1 loss to FC Dallas last time out.
But what has denied Chivas an even more impressive start to the season has been a collection of defensive miscues, which has resulted in six goals conceded through three games.
"When you make those mistakes on set pieces and concentration you don't deserve that," first-year coach Cabrera said after the club's loss to Dallas. "You have to get punished in order for us to improve. We have been working on set pieces and today we lost concentration and then we got punished.
"We (conceded) two set piece goals and then one more because we have been passing the ball to the opponent. That happened last weekend against Vancouver (Whitecaps FC) in the last 10 minutes, and it happened to us today."
Chivas USA's defensive instability could be a good omen for the Red Bulls, who have yet to score more than one goal in a game this season.
Thierry Henry has one goal thus far and will be hoping to add to his total as he begins his pursuit of the MLS Golden Boot, while Tim Cahill will be searching for his first goal of the season when the Red Bulls take the pitch on Sunday.