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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Red Bulls-Union: Lineups and prematch observations

Union (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: McCarthy, Tribbett, Gaddis, Carroll, Fernandes, Davies, Alberg. 
 Red Bulls (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: Reynish, Zizzo, Long, Davis, S.Wright-Phillips, Veron, Damari 

- Tranquillo Barnetta is back in the lineup for the Union, which moves them away from the double pivot in central midfield that worked last week in Toronto. But the better possession side, with Warren Creavalle as the 6, Alejandro Bedoya as the 8 and Barnetta is the better bet against the Red Bulls’ high pressure.

- It’s intriguing that Maurice Edu isn’t in the 18, but that could be out of necessity rather than an injury setback to the midfielder. With Ilsinho not fit, the Union would’ve had only two attacking options on the bench. Instead of a redundant No. 6 in Edu (with Brian Carroll there), Jim Curtin goes with Leo Fernandes, who’s played all of 93 MLS minutes since April 1.

- On defense, Josh Yaro returns, an interesting decision to swap him in for the Ken Tribbett, who played well last week. Fabian Herbers also keeps his spot in the lineup, and deservedly so.

- Speaking of rookies, Keegan Rosenberry can make history today. If he goes 90 minutes, he’ll tie Michael Parkhurst for the most minutes played by an MLS rookie (SuperDraft or Homegrown) since 2001. He’s on pace to be just one of three rookies since 2002 to play every minute for his team as a rookie.

- The Red Bulls started a mostly reserve side Tuesday in Guatemala for a CONCACAF Champions League title with Antigua GFC. But four starters – Aurelien Collin, Luis Robles, Mike Grella and Felipe – turn around for the start today. Felipe, Collin and Robles played in last week’s win over the Impact. Grella is back in for Daniel Royer, and in addition to the Route 1 threat via that midfield nucleus to Sacha Kljestan to Bradley Wright-Phillips, those wingers off a nuanced. Grella is also a reason to get into your seats quickly for the start of the game.

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