Harrison, NJ – Red Bull New York will looking to be carry over the fantastic form it displayed in its home opener when it welcomes the Montreal Impact to Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
New York opened the season with two successive road losses to FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake, but last weekend's tilt saw the club thrash the Colorado Rapids, 4-1, in its first home match of the season.
The spine of the team was much improved with the inclusion of central defender Wilman Conde and center midfielder Rafa Marquez, but it was the forward partnership of Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry that stole headlines as both players bagged two goals in the win.
"I hope that with each game, if I'm out there with him, he'll feel comfortable with me," Cooper said of Henry. "I'm hungry to get better every day. He's someone I can learn from along with a lot of other players here."
Cooper and Henry will need to be on form for the Red Bulls if they want to achieve success this season. Luke Rodgers, last season's breakout star, was denied a work visa and his contract with the club was subsequently terminated, while young starlet Juan Agudelo suffered a torn meniscus while away with the United States U-23 national team.
"It's tough, but I don't like to look at the negative things," Agudelo said. "The positive thing is that it wasn't my ACL or anything. It's just a little knee injury that's very minor, so I'll be back soon. Your meniscus is not as bad as some people think. They just need to scrape it up a little bit and I'll be fine."
Montreal, meanwhile, has not had many positives to drawn on this season, managing just one point in its first three league matches. The Impact have had only one home match thus far (a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire) and they will face a quick turnaround before they head to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.
"We may make a couple of changes," head coach Jesse Marsch said. "We're just looking at each game individually and the week as a whole to try and see how to handle it the best way, to give ourselves the best chance to get as many points as possible."
The Impact are coming off of a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew in Ohio, a match in which the visitors were reduced to 10 men thanks to the 19th-minute sending off of Jeb Brovsky.
But despite the disappointing result, captain Davy Arnaud is looking to take the positives out of the performance.
"Our response was good, we didn't feel sorry for ourselves," Arnaud said. "We still gave them a good game and made it tough on them. Even with us down to 10, they had a tough day [Saturday].
"On another day, we might get a couple of goals. We had plenty of moments to get back in the game, and even after the second, we continued to battle. I don't think the performance was bad, it's just tough playing with 10."
Montreal will need to outgun New York if it hopes to steal points at Red Bull Arena, but the Impact have scored just once this season and are still searching for their first road goal.