Orlando City needs a win. Getting one tonight won't be easy.
The Lions are 1-2 in two previous meetings with the New York Red Bulls, splitting a pair of matches last season and falling 3-2 just two weeks ago in Harrison, NJ. New York followed that win over Orlando by demolishing FC Dallas. You could say they're firing on all cylinders right now.
That's not great news for an Orlando City team that is 0-2-2 in its last four outings. But the captain is returning and hope springs eternal.
Here again to help us scout the Red Bulls and give us the visitors' perspective for tonight's rematch is Pat Glodkowski from SB Nation's NYRB blog, Once a Metro. Pat was nice enough to stop by and answer even more of our questions. I also answered his, which you can read here.
New York seems to have found its mojo in the game against Orlando City a couple of weeks ago (you're welcome) and is being driven onward by the midfield, particularly Dax McCarty, Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan. What do you see as the big difference? Is it just simply finishing that has turned things around or is there more to it?
Pat Glodkowski: I think that everything just started to click again. No offense meant, but we did not really change our game plan much for the first fixture against Orlando. It just seems that the players had enough of losing and the system proved that it still works well. I do not want to say it's "simply finishing" but it is part of the reason.
The Red Bulls picked up Aurelien Collin in a trade between the two clubs recently. How are Red Bulls fans feeling about this trade and what does Collin bring to the New York back line that was missing (if anything)?
PG: So to be honest, and I hold this opinion, I always thought Collin was a jackass. Hard tackles, and sometimes cynical. But we all knew he was a good player, and knows how to defend well with aggression. Now that he is one of our players, everyone is delighted to see the name on the roster, adding to the belief of a francophone attitude for the Red Bulls. Everything aside, people like the acquisition because they appreciate his style of play (though none of his opponents surely do), and he is allegedly a good character in the locker room. Aside from that, Collin also brings us depth in the CB department, which apparently four was not enough for us based on our previous results.
Orlando City fielded kind of an odd lineup in Red Bull Arena, trotting out a 4-4-2 look, which we haven't previously seen. The Lions look to get Kaká back for this match and Antonio Nocerino was suspended for a stupid reason the last time these teams played. What do you expect differently out of Orlando and how do you think Jesse Marsch will counter?
PG: From my standpoint, I do not think the Red Bulls changed much in the preparation for that game. However, coming up the Red Bulls will probably focus more on control of the midfield. They know how deadly Kaká can be to help Larin score goals for Orlando City. Nonetheless, I would not suspect Red Bulls to overhaul their strategy much, perhaps with the exception of putting more emphasis on Kljestan to perform well.
Can you please give us any key injuries/suspensions the Red Bulls are facing, as well as your predictions for the starting XI and the final score of the match?
PG: Well as opposed to last game, we do not have much of any problems in the injury or suspension problem. Baah and Veron were our remaining question marks but Marsch had said that both will be available on the bench this weekend. Baah featured in RBNY II's recent 2-0 defeat to Charlotte Independence in USL. Perrinelle is still out with his injury, but other than that, expect a full roster, with Collin allegedly given the nod for the game.
Kemar-Zubar-(no idea, could be Collin)-Zizzo
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Big thanks to Pat from Once a Metro for returning to our site and giving us some insight on the defending Supporters' Shield-winning New York Red Bulls.