When it comes to playing away from home, the New York Red Bulls have been absolutely horrible. They won just two matches away from home all regular season and while they did win at Dallas in the wild card round, playing away is hardly the Red Bulls' forte. That's why as they head into their two-legged conference semifinal, the first leg is so vital. When they welcome the Los Angeles Galaxy to Red Bull Arena on Sunday, they can't go searching for a draw. They will need to play for a win and get that win because an entire season's worth of results indicates that they won't be able to get the win they want on the road in the second leg.
The Red Bulls and Galaxy squared off at the Home Depot Center once earlier this season with the two teams playing to a 1-1 draw. That was due in part to an incredible goal line save by Tim Ream to keep Landon Donovan from scoring the winner, but the point is that New York got the draw in Los Angeles. It's a result they can get again, but that means they need to get a win at home on Sunday.
New York did win their last three home games of the season, including a 2-0 triumph over LA and a 1-0 win in their final regular season match to clinch a playoff spot. They're on a bit of a roll now, especially at home, setting them up for a very winnable home match in the first leg. Do that and their putrid road record might not matter much because while they've struggled to win away, the Red Bulls can certainly draw. Win on Sunday, draw on Thursday. Sounds like a good formula for New York.