RBNY-Union: Lineups and pre-game thoughts
- Union manager John Hackworth espoused a desire to rotate his squad this week with three matches in eight days, and he’s done that. The Union introduces three changes from the draw with RSL last week. Aaron Wheeler comes in for Austin Berry, who had a horrible game against RSL. No word on whether that’s pre-planned or performance based. Brian Carroll fails to start for the first available game (without injury or suspension) since May 5, 2012, with Leo Fernandes starting centrally and Cristian Maidana coming in on the wing to move Maurice Edu to a holding midfield position. Fabinho, who didn’t play last week, enters for Sheanon Williams as he and Ray Gaddis flip sides.
- Maurice Edu will wear the captain’s armband for the first time as a member of the union. When in the home opener Carroll was unable to go, that honor went to Amobi Okugo.
- Andre Blake is back after a week out. The bench includes attacking options in Conor Casey and Antoine Hoppenot, but no change-of-pace midfield options.
- For the Red Bulls, Armando gets a place on the bench but isn’t up to start, drafting Ibrahim Sekagya into the side after he played well against the Union as a centerback last year. Tim Cahill earns a seat on the bench, Eric Alexander and Peguy Luyindula the preferred attacking midfield options.
- Okugo faces a third straight game with a rotated defensive partner. Keeping track of Thierry Henry (who burned them last year) and Bradley Wright-Phillips, especially as they interchange with the midfielders, will be a big task for he and Wheeler to sort out.