Union-Red Bulls: Lineups and pregame observations
|Wednesday's edition of the Daily Times, featuring Danny Cruz.|
- Jim Curtin is forced to bring in fresh legs thanks to the red cards to Amobi Okugo and Michael Lahoud in the draw with Colorado Saturday. That means that he gets to delay for a week the question of how Vincent Nogueira and Cristian Maidana coexist in midfield, with Nogueira taking deep-lying role alongside Brian Carroll. It’s Nogueira’s first league appearance since June 7, John Hackworth’s last game in charge.
- There’s a shuffle in the backline, too, with Maurice Edu back from suspension and Ethan White having done enough in a good showing against Colorado to earn a second start. (That means Austin Berry is still looking for his first minutes since the New England loss May 17.) The last time the teams played, a 2-1 win for the Red Bulls in Harrison, right back Ray Gaddis had one of his most difficult games of the season thanks to Peguy Luyindula and Eric Alexander. This time, Fabinho appears to be the weak link, headed to the bench so Gaddis (at the left) and Sheanon Williams can man the flanks. It’s the first time Fabinho hasn’t started since May 3 in Seattle.
- For the Red Bulls, who enter on a five-game unbeaten streak, Dax McCarty makes his return to the starting lineup, pairing with Tim Cahill in the center. That battle for central midfield supremacy is one where the Red Bulls have the edge on paper and Carroll and Nogueira will have to work hard to overturn. Up top, you know what you’re getting with MLS goals leader Bradley Wright-Phillips and assists leader Thierry Henry.
- Apparently the effects of the Shane O’Neill tackle are lingering with Danny Cruz, who is on the bench as Andrew Wenger starts for the first time since May 17. Brian Brown is on the bench yet again looking for his debut.
- The Union get a little bit of a break with Luyindula’s cryptic absence. Philly native Bobby Convey is among those on the bench, which runs pretty thin for the Red Bulls.
Labels: Bradley Wright-Phillips, Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz, Dax McCarty, Ethan White, Maurice Edu, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Ray Gaddis, Sheanon Williams, Thierry Henry, Vincent Nogueira