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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Union-Red Bulls: Lineups and pre-match analysis

Philadelphia Union (4-4-2)
Le Toux-Carroll-Daniel-Cruz
Bench: Nikolov, Farfan, Hoppenot, Fernandes, Lahoud, Kleberson, Wheeler

New York Red Bulls (4-4-2)
Bench: Meara, Sam, Lade, Barklage, Luyindula, Maizga, Obekop

- The thinking once was that the Red Bulls went as did Thierry Henry this season. There's an addendum to that: The Red Bulls are a different team when Henry and Fabian Espindola start. They've started together 16 times this season, and the Red Bulls are 8-4-4 in those games. If you exclude early-season stumbles, they are 8-2-2 in the the last 12 games in which both have started, including a recent 4-1-1 stretch interrupted last week in Columbus when Henry didn't travel. Their working relationship and able to create chances and goal from nothing will severely test Amobi Okugo and Jeff Parke in a way Peguy Luyindula simply couldn't in two starts against the Union this season.

- It's unfair to think of Roy Miller as the liability he has been in the past (though that could service at any time). But it'll be interesting to see how the Union attack the Costa Rican left back. Do they put Danny Cruz up the attacking right? Or do they break up the burgeoning chemistry between Sebastien Le Toux and Fabinho, making his second straight start at left back? I'd expect Cruz to take on the job.

- Still no Kleberson. That samba beat sounds more ghostly by the day. We'll see if Keon Daniel learns from the errors John Hackworth admitted he made last week.

- Interesting that Oka Nikolov makes his first MLS gameday roster in favor of Chris Konopka.

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