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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Red Bulls-Union: Lineups and prematch observations

UNION (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: McCarthy, Yaro, Rosenberry, Creavalle, Alberg, Epps, Simpson 

New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: Meara,
Bench: Meara, Zizzo, Davis, Lawrence, Metzger, Veron, Etienne

- The Union were strategic in resting veterans in the midweek Open Cup game, which allows some strategic reintroductions. Ray Gaddis regains his place at right back, Fabinho in at the opposite side and Oguchi Onyewu centrally. Chris Pontius and CJ Sapong, who divvied up 90 minutes on the wing against Harrisburg City, are restored to their regular positions, while Fafa Picault is back as the starter on the other wing and Ilsinho is in at the No. 10. It’s perhaps interesting that none of the reserves that performed well Wednesday impressed sufficiently to win starting jobs back (though Marcus Epps is again on the bench).

- When it comes to the holdovers, the central corridor is full of players who logged 90 minutes Wednesday. Jack Elliott (by manager Jim Curtin’s preference) and the central midfield pairing of Derrick Jones and Haris Medunjanin (with no other options) each went the distance against Harrisburg. We’ll see if that workload in the center of park has consequences.

- The Union get a big boost with Warren Creavalle healthy on the bench. Alejandro Bedoya's hamstring injury wasn’t pushed.

- Interesting that Richie Marquez is the odd man out today, not even in the 18. With Josh Yaro having done so much running mid-week, it’ll be interesting to divine what this means for Curtin’s center back pecking order with four healthy options.

- The Red Bulls have tinkered with the idea of deviating from the 4-2-3-1, but they keep returning to the familiar structure. Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips both went 89 minutes against New York City FC midweek, and Felipe, Aurelien Collin and Alex Muyl went the full 90 (and apparently Aaron Long as an outside back). That could translate into a lot of tired legs, with the heat and high pressure today.

- So much attention was paid to the job that Tyler Adams and Jones did at the U.S. Under-20s. They’ll be going head-to-head today in the engine room of midfield. That’ll be one to watch.

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June 26, 2017 at 12:52 PM 

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