The New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City face off at 4PM ET today (broadcast live locally on MSG). It's the first ever visit for the Red Bulls to Livestrong Sporting Park. Both teams have a chance to punch their playoff ticket tonight, but the Red Bulls will need to grab all three points to do so, while a draw would probably suffice for the home side.
As we predicted in our match preview earlier this afternoon, there aren't really any surprises from the ultra-conservative Hans Backe in the Red Bulls' starting XI. Stephen Keel once again partners Tim Ream in central defense, while Rafael Marquez shifts forward alongside Teemu Tainio. Roy Miller and Jan Gunnar Solli slot back in at left and right back, respectively. Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers will hope to continue their productive partnership up front. Juan Agudelo once again remains on the bench. The single glaring omission is Dax McCarty, who does not even make the bench.
For Sporting Kansas City, Rookie for the Year candidate C.J. Sapong is on the bench, with veteran Mexican striker Omar Bravo paired with Teal Bunbury up top.
Subs: Bouna Coundoul, Carlos Mendes, Matt Kassel, John Rooney, Stephane Auvray, Mehdi Ballouchy, Juan Agudelo
Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic, Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, Omar Bravo
Subs: Eric Kronberg, Lawrence Olum, Michael Harrington, Davy Arnaud, Jeferson, Soony Saad, C.J. Sapong