Unbeaten in their last eight matches across all competitions, the New York Red Bulls look to continue that streak Sunday when they travel to face Inter Miami CF in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
New York (5-2-5, 20 points) entered the weekend fifth in the Eastern Conference table, but within one point of the first-place Philadelphia Union. The Red Bulls also advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win over rival D.C. United earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Miami (3-6-3, 12 points) is near the bottom of the conference standings. Miami is coming off a scoreless draw with Philadelphia on Wednesday and hasn't won a league match since April 24.
Still, New York coach Gerhard Struber isn't taking Miami lightly.
"We are confident. We know it's a team with very good quality and very good on-ball play," Struber said. "... But at the same time, we have big respect for their team and we know what they can do with so many key players on the field."
The good news for Miami is that the squad is regaining some healthy players. Forward Robbie Robinson, defenders Aime Mabika and Brek Shea and goalkeeper Nick Marsman all resumed training this past week.
"All our players are chomping at the bit to play, there's a lot of competition," Miami coach Phil Neville told the Miami Herald.
The Red Bulls beat Miami twice last season by a combined 5-0 margin.
"They beat us quite convincingly last year, they play a distinctive style, and have players who can hurt us," Neville said.
For Red Bulls midfielder Lewis Morgan, it will be the first time that he's facing Miami as an opponent. The Scottish winger spent two seasons with the club, notching seven goals and 12 assists in 57 appearances. He has five goals and two assists for the Red Bulls this season.
"Really excited for the game. It's another chance for us to get three points on the board," Morgan said. "Miami has had such an overhaul in players that the team is completely different from when I was there."
Other players have helped Morgan power New York's attack this season. Patryk Klimala has four goals and three assists in MLS play, and Omir Fernandez has two goals and three assists. The Red Bulls have scored 20 goals this season and are second in the Eastern Conference in goal differential with a plus-eight mark.
--Field Level Media