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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Union-Red Bulls: Lineups and pregame thoughts

UNION (4-2-3-1)
Le Toux-Maidana-Ayuk
Bench: Blake, Marquez, Vitoria, Barnetta, Fred, Casey, Aristeguieta

New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: Reynish, McLaws, Ouimette, Davis, Abang, Zizzo, S.Wright-Phillips

- All eyes are on one name on the bench: Tranquillo Barnetta. The Swiss player – maybe the Union’s biggest ever acquisition who was unveiled Friday – makes the bench as anticipated. He required a week of intercontinental transit to seal his move to Philadelphia, so he’s not 90-minutes fit, but he could play some role in this contest.

- Brian Sylvestre’s hand laceration wasn’t the subject of much discussion this week, and it didn’t preclude him from training. But he’s out of the 18 today, with John McCarthy getting the nod in goal. McCarthy was stellar last week against the Red Bulls.

- Among the starting XI, emphasis will be placed on the Union’s central midfield pivot that will be without Vincent Nogueira for the majority of August. It’s Zach Pfeffer’s time to shine: He was hit-or-miss last week against D.C. United, with some good moments and some bad, and with as outstanding as Nogueira has been, especially going forward, the onus is on Pfeffer to step up big time. 

- Ray Gaddis makes his 100th start today, a remarkable accolade for the hard-working fullback. Here’s what he had to say on the matter earlier in the week. He’s just the second member of the 2012 SuperDraft class to hit 100 MLS starts. 

- For the Red Bulls, no shocks in the starting lineup. Kemar Lawrence has the week off to recover from the Gold Cup. Shaun Wright-Phillips makes the matchday 18 after being signed midweek. One oddity is that Dax McCarty, like Pfeffer, had a midweek flight to Colorado for All-Star festivities (Pfeffer in the Homegrown Game).

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