New York Red Bulls forward Brandon Allen (pictured) played for the USA at the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls)
HANOVER, New Jersey – The New York Red Bulls plan to use Wednesday’s friendly against visiting Club America as a way to offer valuable experience to those players who may be called upon to perform in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
After all, what better way to gain familiarity with the region’s most important club tournament than to compete against the side that has lifted the trophy at the conclusion of the last two editions?
"It's definitely going to be a good test for us, especially for the guys who need the opportunity," said 22-year-old forward Brandon Allen. “This is a good chance for us to come and show what we can do."
Club America, a record seven-time CONCACAF club champion, is in the midst of its preseason preparations.
"They're going to be a great team," Allen remarked about the Liga MX power. "I'm expecting that they're going to be hard to play against. We're going to come out the way we normally do. We're going to press."
As it turns out, the Aguilas have also been known to deploy a similar pressing style, so the game could turn into a battle of wills.
"They're also a very technical team, a sharp team," added midfielder Tyler Adams, just 17-years-old himself.
The Red Bulls are coming off a 2-0 loss on Sunday at local rival New York City FC. Head coach Jesse Marsch realizes his team will face another difficult challenge.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve been very impressed with Club America," he noted. "I think they’re the best team in North America that I’ve ever seen. They have great talent. They press as well. They play a very fast game. They’re very organized. I thought they dominated Champions League as well.”
Following the Club America encounter, New York will contest five MLS games, before opening its SCCL schedule at home on August 3 against Guatemala’s Antigua GFC.