Soccer

Despite record, Red Bulls expect tough game from Toronto FC

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The Sports Network
9/28/2012 3:30:09 PM
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Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - Toronto FC comes to Red Bull Arena on Saturday with the fewest points in the league, but that doesn't mean that Red Bull New York will be taking the match lightly.

The Canadian club has sat at the foot of the Eastern Conference for much of the season and comes into Saturday's tilt with just 22 points from 30 games.

It would appear to be three easy points for New York, which sits five point adrift of first place in the East, but Tim Cahill is wary of the potential trap game against a big underdog.

"Toronto have got nothing to lose," Cahill told the club's official website. "They're coming and they're going to throw the kitchen sink at us. They're going to want to beat New York at home and that's an even bigger incentive."

Thierry Henry echoed Cahill's sentiment, saying that it's all on the Red Bulls to pick up the three points.

"Everything is down to us, no disrespect to Toronto," Henry told reporters Thursday. "But if we give them the space and the time to play well at the beginning, they are going to punish us like all the teams that punished us when we give them space. Simple as that."

New York was in contention for the MLS Supporters' Shield earlier this season, but going 1-1-3 over its last five games has seen the club fall off the pace.

The Red Bulls have even dropped out of second place in the East due to the Chicago Fire's dominant play of late. As a result, Hans Backe's side heads into the final four games of the season tied with D.C. United on 50 points apiece.

Toronto should be flying high after picking up a 3-0 victory over CD Aguila in CONCACAF Champions League play midweek, a result that has lifted some weight off the shoulders of head coach Paul Mariner.

"I'm feeling a bit better than I've been for the past few weeks," Mariner told MLSsoccer.com by telephone from El Salvador. "It was very difficult circumstances, the field - it wasn't the greatest surface in the world - so some passes went awry. But a 3-0 win away from home, a clean sheet, I was very, very pleased, all the staff were pleased."

Toronto could be fatigued due to the long trip to El Salvador, but expect Mariner's side to remain energetic as it looks to pull off a shocking upset.

Toronto FC  (Photo: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
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