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“They’re a good team, they have quality players,” said Vanney. “They have a good structure that they play from and defensively they’ve become a little more aggressive from the front than they were at the beginning of the season when we first played them.
“So we’ve got to be good with the ball and diligent and obviously continue to move the ball quickly and try to take advantage of spaces when they open up and try to continue to get attacks deep into their half of the field and force them back,” he said. “(And) we need to be more organized in our attacking structure then we were the other night (in a 2-2 draw at D.C. United). (And) even though they’re not scoring a lot of goals, they have good players and we’ve got to manage those players and manage their movements and protect our goal and not give away silly things to a very good team. We have to be more reliable in making plays and making it more difficult for teams to score goals. They have to work to score goals instead of us just conceding them for them.”
The Reds are currently situated at their home base in Hartford and trained at Pratt & Whitney Stadium the last couple days. Goalkeeper Quentin Westberg acknowledged that the nature of the schedule this year with the stop and starts, and the quarantines, and now the extended road trip away from their families has been extremely challenging, but he said the players have to put everything into perspective.
“I’m not sure everyone is really hyper-comfortable with this situation, but everybody’s dealing with it, sometimes better than not – but for the most part trying to be as positive as possible and dealing with the challenges of this year,” Westberg said. “One thing we need to keep in mind, we’re not the only ones challenged. Within MLS maybe a little bit more than other (teams), but it’s a global pandemic and I think we’re still fortunate to be playing and being professional soccer players.”
Veteran forward Jozy Altidore left the D.C. United match after the first half because of a heel issue and Vanney said a decision will be made on Wednesday as to whether he can play against NYCFC.
With an appearance on Wednesday night, Chris Mavinga will reach the century mark with the Reds.