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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Union-Red Bulls: Magic of the Open Cup video and lineups

UNION (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: McGuire, Gaddis, Onyewu, Tribbett, Najem, Pontius, Epps 

New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: Robles, Allen, Metzger, Etienne, Lade, Royer, Veron 

- Once again, the U.S. Open Cup allows Jim Curtin to use two forwards without abandoning the one-striker formation (shrug emoji). Jay Simpson starts up top, with CJ Sapong on the wing. The ability to spell either of them, with Chris Pontius and Marcus Epps, presents itself on the bench.

- Ilsinho isn’t in the side, which means that Roland Alberg has the No. 10 role all to himself. He’ll have chances to create offense with forwards all around.

- The backline roulette lands on Keegan Rosenberry and Fabinho on the outside. Josh Yaro is in for Oguchi Onyewu. On the whole, no surprises, though a rib injury apparently rules out Andre Blake (or the Union want to get John McCarthy some time since he’ll be the goalie of choice against Sporting Kansas City when Blake is away for the Gold Cup).

- Red Bulls’ lineup is a mishmash, featuring three natural center backs and four natural center mids. I’d opine that Sean Davis becomes a winger opposite the defensive-minded Sal Zizzo and Aaron Long pulls out to the left back role. But we’ll see it in practice.

- These teams have played so often that there are few tactical unknowns. So let’s focus on the psychological ones. How miffed are the Red Bulls at the pointed commentary Haris Medunjanin had for Felipe after last week’s waving away of a red card? How does Derrick Jones rebound for that red 10 days ago? Where is the mind of Sapong after his Gold Cup snub? How are the Red Bulls feeling after the rivalry trouncing by New York City FC last week, motivated or defeated? That’s plenty of subtext.

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