The big news regarding the New York Red Bulls' lineup for the second leg of their MLS Eastern Conference semifinal against D.C. United dropped in the first leg - around the time Damien Perrinelle dropped to the ground, clearly in considerable pain and looking much like a man who knew he had just suffered a season-ending injury.
Everyone's worst fears were confirmed: Perrinelle will be out for several months, rehabbing an ACL tear. Whatever happens next for RBNY in the 2015 MLS playoffs, it will happen without the center back who has held the defense together for most of the season.
His replacement seems easy to predict: Ronald Zubar came off the bench to replace Perrinelle in DC, and should take the starting role that he lost to injury in the opening game of the regular season.
On the bench, it will be interesting to see whether Jesse Marsch finds a place for Roy Miller, the longest-tenured player on the roster. Miller has had a forgettable season, during which he has lost his place in RBNY's starting lineup and his place in his national team squad altogether. It is reasonably assumed he is destined for another club in the off-season. But a place on the bench for the remainder of the playoffs might at least serve to suggest his absence from Marsch's plans has indeed been largely due to injury and not - as suspected - because the coach finds Miller a poor fit with the RalfBall system.
Beyond Zubar's return to the starting lineup and the question of whether Miller has any role left to play this year, the team pretty much picks itself at this stage of the season. If Marsch is inclined to make any changes to what has become his preferred team, it is beyond the wit of this column to predict them.