With their last match against HB Køge ending in a tepid 1-1 draw, the New York Red Bulls still have plenty to work on if they want to earn a win against OKC Energy.
Jesse Marsch gave us a preview of what could very well be the starting XI, with the exclusion of Bradley Wright-Phillips. His stand-in, Mike Grella, did not disappoint and managed to score a nifty goal to give the Red Bulls the lead against Køge. Although this reflected well on the new signing, it did not effect the outcome as the remainder of the match turned out to be a choppy affair.
Here's the starting lineup from the last match:
Several players made a case for regular first team minutes, with Leo Stolz and trialist Anthony Wallace providing solid contributions off the bench. Marsch will probably want to give them significant minutes, along with the other trialists, in Saturday's match-up, especially since he needs to figure out who is staying with the first team and who is going to NYRB II. As OKC is a USL team, they will be competing on the same level as NYRB II so this provides an excellent opportunity for Marsch to get a good look at the trialists and fringe players.
Oklahoma City are coming off of a 1-0 win against Toronto FC. With forward Kyle Greig scoring the only goal of the match, the USL side are coming into Saturday's game with a bit of momentum behind them. For a side that is going into its second season, taking down a more established club (especially one with the starting lineup of Toronto) represents a big accomplishment for head coach Jimmy Nielsen and company.
Nielsen had his team playing compact soccer, while allowing TFC the majority of the possession. This match could be similar to the match against Køge in that respect. Hopefully, the Red Bulls manage to work out some of the kinks that made their last game so disjointed.
Update: I added the stream at the bottom of the article! Enjoy!
IMG Suncoast Pro Classic - February 21 - Red Bulls vs. OKC Energy FC
Start Time: 2:30 pm (Eastern)
Online Stream: http://www.newyorkredbulls.com/live