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Sporting KC's Players Respect New York Red Bulls

First-place Sporting Kansas City is locked in a tight battle with the New York Red Bulls for the top spot in the MLS Eastern Conference and after a draw on Sunday night, the distance between the two teams hasn't changed much. With Sporting KC heading to New York twice in the final eight games of the season, both teams are expecting even higher competition than what fans were treated to in a physical, defensive battle in Kansas City on Sunday.

Sporting KC did not allow a shot all game yet New York played just as tough defensively, something that midfielder Roger Espinoza says is likely to change once the games head to New York.

When we go over there it's going to be a great game. With the way we play and the way they play at home, it's going to be exciting. They haven't lost at home, and they score a lot of goals there. They really go at teams, and we like that. If we lose over there, it will be because they played better than us. We aren't going to go over there and sit back like they did tonight. Everybody on our team wants to win, and you do that by trying to go forward, whether it's home or away.

Defender Chance Myers is also expecting a hard fight from the Red Bulls in what is turning into an incredibly competitive race for the top spot in the conference.

This game was a little more physical than most this season. New York dropped a lot of guys behind the ball. We took our chances and they tried to counter. We had the ball a lot, but it was tough to break them down. We probably deserved the three points, but like I said, the one mistake we made all game really cost us.

Sporting KC welcomes Toronto FC to Kansas City on Sept. 1 with the game set to start at 7:30 p.m. CT. The team will face New York again on Sept. 19 and again on Oct. 20.