Published January 13, 2015
Red Bull New York will put its three-game winning streak on the line on Wednesday when it welcomes the Montreal Impact to Red Bull Arena.
New York is one of the most in-form sides in MLS at the moment, winning its last three games by a combined score of 7-2.
At the heart of the turnaround has been the resurgence of Tim Cahill, who has netted New York's last three goals.
The Australia international answered his critics by bagging a brace in the club's 2-1 defeat of Toronto FC at BMO Field on April 27 before producing the lone goal in its 1-0 defeat of the Columbus Crew last time out.
As the Red Bulls return home for midweek clash with the Impact, head coach Mike Petke offered an 'I-told-you-so' moment regarding Cahill's contribution to the team.
"What more can I say that I don't say after every weekend?" Petke said following New York's victory in Columbus. "He's huge for us, I'm excited for him, I'm excited for the team, and he's done a great job."
While Cahill has offered little in the goals department upon his arrival last summer, his ability to patrol the center of the park has been invaluable. He also has managed to bring a sense of togetherness within the squad that has fostered more discipline and consistency.
"As I've said from the start - discipline needs to be better, consistency throughout the team needs to be better, and that's what was starting to happen," Cahill said after the Columbus defeat. "We're a hard team to beat on the road and I give massive credit to Luis Robles, especially after last week. It was one of the most disciplined performances from me, just sitting in the middle, and I could have possibly had another goal. I sensed that I was going to get chance, it fell right, and the goalkeeper was flapping.
"Overall, I'm very happy, and for the team it was another great result; it sits us in a good position, regardless of how many games we've played."
To add further weight on Wednesday's tilt, both sides come into the match level on 17 points, placing them atop the Eastern Conference along with Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo.
Montreal threw away a golden opportunity to move into sole possession of first place in the East by squandering a two-goal lead over the San Jose Earthquakes, settling for a point in a 2-2 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday.
Wednesday's tilt marks the second consecutive road match for the Impact before they return home to face Real Salt Lake at Saputo Stadium on Saturday. According to head coach Marco Schallibaum, the cross-country travel, paired with the drastic change in weather, has done a bit of a number on his squad.
"The travel was very hard on our guys," Schallibaum said. "However, overall, I think we did a great job with the little time between matches. I will go re- watch the (Earthquakes) game again. I just think that our guys have the never give up attitude and I am very happy with that."