New York Red Bulls must “stop the bleeding”. That is the message coming from coach Jesse Marsch, who is set to ring the changes against Real Salt Lake.
The Red Bulls entertain RSL on Wednesday attempting to arrest a five-match winless streak after crashing to a fourth consecutive defeat against Vancouver Whitecaps over the weekend.
Marsch and Co. sit outside of the play-off positions in the Eastern Conference, with the Red Bulls seventh in the table behind Montreal Impact and Columbus Crew on goal difference.
“Certain guys have shown that they’re hungry,” Marsch told reporters.
“It’s not like we’re going to change the philosophy, but we need to look hard at which guys right now are ready to step up and do whatever it takes.
“We’re figuring out how to put 11 guys on the field on Wednesday that are going to go out there and win, period.
“Win ugly, win pretty; win in whatever way possible. That’s where we’re at right now. We have to figure out a way to stop the bleeding.”
Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty added: “If we have to play like bastards, if we have to play cynical, if we have to kick people, if we have to be physical, if we have to get up in guys’ faces, then we need to change that.”
At the other end of the East standings, leaders DC United and New England Revolution are both away from home on Wednesday.
United, who snapped back-to-back defeats against New England on Sunday to move seven points clear at the summit, travel to cellar-dwellers Chicago Fire.
The Revolution – second in the table – have only won one of their past eight league fixtures as they prepare to face sixth-placed Columbus Crew on the road.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Western Conference pacesetters Seattle Sounders can maintain their lead atop the standings with victory at lowly Philadelphia Union.
The Sounders were beaten 2-0 at home to San Jose Earthquakes as the Whitecaps moved level in the West, but adrift on goal difference.
Portland Timbers travel to reigning MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy in a battle between third and fourth in the West.
Toronto FC go head-to-head with the Impact in an all-Canadian affair, while Orlando City tackle Colorado Rapids.