The New York Red Bulls return to action as they host D.C. United in their home opener on Sunday March 22nd at 5:00pm, at Red Bull Arena. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 as part of the Soccer Sunday doubleheader.
The defending Regular Season Eastern Conference Champions will try to exact revenge against RBNY, who knocked them out of the Conference Semifinals in last year's MLS Cup playoffs. Let's take a quick look at some of the players who will lineup in the 4-4-2 against New York:
Jairo Arrieta (FWD; 1 goal, 89 MP): Arrieta was picked up by Orlando City in the expansion draft from Columbus Crew SC, then traded to DC a month later. Arrieta has already shown he can be a good option while Fabian Espindola and Eddie Johnson are currently unavailable up top for United. He tallied the lone goal in DC's 1-0 defeat of CCL Semifinalist Montreal Impact.
Bill Hamid (GK, 1 clean sheet, 90 MP): Hamid is no stranger to the Red Bulls. He already started his season off on the right foot by shutting out Montreal. He looks to continue his current form.
Steve Birnbaum (DEF, 1 clean sheet, 90 MP): Fellow USMNT January camp callup Birnbaum had an excellent game against Montreal, keeping them off the scoreboard. Birnbaum will lead a defense of Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb and Sean Franklin looking to return the favor to Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Chris Rolfe (MID, 1 assist, 77 MP): On-again, off-again injured Rolfe started the season out with a bang. He contributed the through ball assist on Arrieta's goal against Montreal and was very active with his 5 shots on goal. He also took all of the team's 4 corner kicks, so he could be dangerous down the stretch if the Red Bulls give up some late corners in a tight game.
DC will look to exploit on the counter attack. With the Red Bulls' wings pushing up in their new high-pressure system, Nick DeLeon and Rolfe could be dangerous in transition on the outside. The back line will really need to stay strong to keep Arrieta and Chris Pontius off the board.