Club: New York Red Bulls
Head Coach: Jesse Marsch
Qualification: 2015 MLS Supporters Shield winner (best regular-season record)
SCCL Appearances: 3 (2009/10, 2014/15, 2016/17
All-Time SCCL Record: GP-10; W-3; D-5; L-2; GF-11; GA-7
Best SCCL Finish: Group Stage (2014/15)
One of 10 charter clubs in Major League Soccer, the New York Red Bulls are making their third Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League after winning the Supporters Shield (best regular-season record) for a second time. Led by 2015 MLS coach of the year Jesse Marsch, who wore the jerseys of D.C. United, the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA in a 13-year playing career, the Red Bulls finished second behind the Montreal Impact in Group 3 in the 2014/15 SCCL and lost in a preliminary aggregate series to W Connection in the 2009/10 tournament. Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips won the 2014 and 2016 MLS golden boot award with 27 and 24 goals, respectively. Other key players include Jamaica international defender Kemar Lawrence and U.S. international midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who played in 20 UEFA Champions League games with Belgium’s Anderlecht and registered the most assists in MLS in 2016 with 20.
Group Stage Summary
The New York Red Bulls were spectacularly steady in clinching a first-ever SCCL quarterfinal berth in three attempts. Their approach to success in the tournament paid dividends, winning twice at home and drawing twice on the road. An opening 3-0 win over visiting Antigua GFC set a positive tone for the remainder of the campaign. New York’s play was featured by a “never-say-die” attitude, with four of its five goals being scored in the second half, including three after the 70th minute. One of the keys was the fact that first-choice goalkeeper Luis Robles saw action in three encounters. The 32-year-old’s veteran presence boosted confidence and fortified a defense that can claim to be the SCCL’s best.
While Robles was tremendous in front of his goal and Kljestan was clutch in front of opponents’ nets, midfielder Felipe Martins was an ever-present anchor. The 26-year-old Brazilian played every minute during the group stage, interrupting attacks with stellar defensive efforts and igniting offensive forays with incisive passing.
Sacha Kljestan (2); Omer Damari, Alex Muyl, own-goal in favor of (1)
Gonzalo Veron (2); Aurelien Collin, Kemar Lawrence (1)