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New York Red Bulls take confidence of 2 goals in Kansas City to New England

Jul 21, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips (99) and New England Revolution defender Antonio Dalamea Mlinar (19) chase a loose ball during the first half at Red Bull Arena. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

It wasn’t a win, but scoring twice at Children’s Mercy Park was a confidence boost for the New York Red Bulls, one they hope carries over to Gillette Stadium when they take on a desperate New England Revolution side Saturday night.

“In this business so much of it is momentum and confidence,” Red Bulls coach Chris Armas said. “I think we can all see the confidence grew in that game, in the second half. Goals certainly help and good goals help, but there was real energy happening after that game that there’s something good happening here.”

Before their 2-2 draw Sunday night, Sporting Kansas City had only conceded once this season at home, and that came in the closing moments of a 7-1 rout of the Montreal Impact.

But the Red Bulls overturned a first-half deficit to level on a goal by Danny Royer and then pulled ahead when substitute Brian White got on the end of a sublime Kaku service to give New York a 2-1 lead before conceding the late Gianluca Busio equalizer.

“Kansas City is one of the hardest places to play in the league,” Red Bulls defender Tim Parker said. “And to get a point there, regardless of the situation we were in, is still very good.”

Added central defense partner Aaron Long: “[Scoring] two goals against Kansas City is pretty big for our attackers. They let in very few goals, especially in their building. To put in two against them in KC is a big confidence-booster for them, two very good goals.”

It’s a result that extended a winless run to four games — the Red Bulls lone win was a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes March 16 — but Armas said his squad left Kansas City confident that they were turning things around.

“The most important thing was that we looked like us and belief grows when you give your best and really put your best foot forward and it actually wins out on the day,” Armas said. “It wasn’t the full three points, but for us it won out on the day.”

Now, the Red Bulls hope to take the next step forward and get three critical points against the Reve Saturday night.

The task, though, won’t be easy, especially at Gillette Stadium. New England has won 22 of the 35 all-time meetings in Foxborough, with the Red Bulls only emerging victorious six times. But one of those times was two years ago thanks to second half goals from Royer and Gonzalo Veron.

The Revs, like the Red Bulls, have just one win in 2019 and enter the game after back-to-back shutout defeats to the Columbus Crew and Atlanta United.

“There’s been some different lineups and different choices they’ve gone with so it will be hard to know exactly who they put out there from the start,” Armas said. “But we have a good idea of what that game is going to look like — in New England, against a tough team, on turf, conference rival, close proximity. We love those games. I’m sure they’re looking forward to it too.”

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