Union-Red Bulls: Lineups and prematch observations
- Jim Curtin isn’t one to change after a clean sheet. So coming off last week’s blanking of D.C. United, he sticks with Ken Tribbett even though Josh Yaro is back from suspension. Tribbett’s physicality will be helpful against Bradley Wright-Phillips, though he has to be careful to limit his penchant for stepping into midfield rashly, since the Red Bulls’ creativity can punish the slightest of openings. Tribbett’s passing also gives him an edge; it was when the Union made a concerted effort to split the center backs wide, get fullbacks forward and drop the central midfielder deep to receive possession that they started making progress against the Red Bulls in the Open Cup win two weeks ago.
- Without injury restrictions, the Union go with their prized front five, naming an unchanged XI from last week. The danger of Dax McCarty as a late runner in the box and as a deep-lying connector for 1-2s puts a big responsibility on Roland Alberg and Tranquillo Barnetta to be vigilant tracking back.
- The Red Bulls are playing a third game in seven days, so the lineup is a mashup of the last two. Damien Perrinelle makes his first start of the season after knee surgery last October. He pairs with Aurelien Collin, alleviating the need for Ronald Zubar to start a third game in seven days. Alex Muyl gets the start as Gonzalo Veron has failed again to prove he’s worthy of playing every game.