MLS

New York Red Bulls v Charlotte FC: Smith not worried about goalless run

By Sports Desk May 28, 2024

Charlotte FC head coach Dean Smith says his team will continue to work on their lack of goal threat as they prepare to travel to New York Red Bulls on Wednesday.

Charlotte sit seventh in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind the Red Bulls after going unbeaten in their last five matches.

However, their last two outings have finished 0-0 against LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union as they managed just six shots on target combined in those games.

Asked how he approaches a situation like that, Smith said: "We talk openly, review all the games and the fact is that we probably haven't worked the goalkeeper enough.

"We've spoke about that and what we feel we can do to improve that. We've had chances, and we probably haven't done as well as we could do with those, so that's something we'll continue to work on

"It's going to be a tough game [against the Red Bulls] because they're a tough team."

The Red Bulls are coming off a 10-day break after their derby defeat to New York City FC on May 19, and sit fifth in the table.

Head coach Sandro Schwarz said: "The performance [against NYCFC] wasn't the best, and we weren't able to create chances to score and to get three points.

"We want more, and we have to improve a lot, but this is normal. We need time, but the mentality, the behaviour, they adapt very quick and very well.

"We were disappointed to lose the derby game, but that happens. Heads up, we have to come back stronger and take the next opportunity."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York Red Bulls – Cameron Harper

Harper scored New York's lone goal in their last match, his third straight match with a goal. He is the first Red Bulls player to score in three straight regular-season matches since Patryk Klimala in 2021, and the last Red Bulls player to score in four straight league games was Bradley Wright-Phillips in July-August 2017.

Charlotte – Kristijan Kahlina

Charlotte have kept clean sheets in five consecutive regular-season matches, the only team to do so in MLS this season. The only team since 2008 to keep a clean sheet in six straight games within a single regular season was New York City FC in May 2022, and Kahlina will be looking to equal that record.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

The Red Bulls have lost only one of their six all-time meetings with Charlotte in all competitions, a 2-0 road defeat in June 2022. New York have won three of their four home matches against Charlotte (D1), scoring multiple goals in each match, including a 5-2 win in last year's playoffs.

The Red Bulls are unbeaten in eight straight home matches dating back to last season (W5 D3, incl. playoffs). New York have not had a longer home unbeaten run in MLS play since a nine-match run from August 2018 to March 2019.

Meanwhile, Charlotte won 1-0 at Chicago in their last away match after a seven-match winless run on the road in all competitions. Charlotte have never recorded back-to-back away wins in all competitions before.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New York Red Bulls – 53%

Draw – 23.9%

Charlotte – 23.1%

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