Orlando City heads to New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena for an early season meeting with last year’s Shield winners. Both teams will be a bit shorthanded during this international window but I’m not sure that matters too much to the host Red Bulls, who have a lot of depth.
As we head into tomorrow’s match, we wanted to learn a bit more about the 2019 New York squad. To help us with that, we enlisted Dan Feuerstein of SB Nation’s NYRB blog, Once a Metro, and the Feuerstein’s Fire podcast.
It’s been two MLS games and the Red Bulls have yet to taste defeat. What have you liked the most about what you’ve seen from NYRB in the first two MLS games of the season?
Dan Feuerstein: What I have like so far from the first two games of the season, has been the attack from the Red Bulls. They look solid when certain high level players have been out due to rotation of the roster for those early Concacaf Champions League games. They have only conceded a goal a game so far, but they are playing solid early on.
After falling out of CCL, do you think New York will benefit from not playing on two fronts as the young season continues?
DF: Yes and no. In some ways yes, because now the starters can be fresh for the long season and get as many points as possible before their U.S. Open Cup campaign begins in June. But no, because the club wanted to move on to the semifinals of the tournament. But while they did level the aggregate and away goals scores, Santos Laguna was always going to be a very difficult opponent, especially with the altitude they had to face down in Mexico.
One of the big stories of the off-season was the departure of Tyler Adams, who joined Red Bull Leipzig in January. Who seems to have carved out a spot as his replacement in midfield?
DF: Since Tyler Adams transferred to sister club Red Bull Leipzig, the player who has been the one to take over his spot is Marc Rzatkowski. Since they re-signed him, Marc has done the job, but they will also rely on Cristian Casserers Jr. who seems to be the anointed one. But at the moment it’s Marc.
What injuries, international duties, or suspensions will make players unavailable for selection this Saturday, and what is your projected starting lineup and score prediction?
DF: Aaron Long on U.S. duty is probably the one player who will be missed, but since he was given a chance to play since his SuperDraft day, Sean Nealis could be the replacement to play alongside Tim Parker. He showed well in his start at the Columbus Crew. We will see what Amro Tarek can do if his number is called upon to start. Michael Murillo, Kaku and Kemar Lawrence are also on international duty.
GK: Luis Robles.
D: Connor Lade, Amro Tarek, Tim Parker, Kyle Duncan.
DMF: Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski,
AMF: Daniel Royer, Vincent Bezecourt, Alex Muyl.
F: Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Score prediction: 3-2 NYRB.
Big thanks to Dan for the insight on the New York Red Bulls.