Coming off a 2-1 loss against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, the New York Red Bulls are in action again five days later. RBNY is set to go on a much needed break before playing the Atlanta Silverbacks on June 16th in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. But first RBNY must clear one last hurdle: the Houston Dynamo tonight at 9:00 PM EST at BBVA Compass Stadium. Not for the first time this season, the team is affected by injury, suspension and international call-ups, especially at the back. Another defensive shuffle is predicted:
As per usual, and most likely until New York signs another DP or puts Anatole Abang up top, RBNY's attack is the same as it has been almost every week this season - with the exception of a few games (New England Revolution on May 2nd being the stand-out), mostly when Sal Zizzo was still healthy. For now, this seems to be the "go-to" starting six up top and will be until Curtis and Marsch decide to switch things up a bit. May we here at Once a Metro suggest James McClean?
Onto this week's latest defensive headache. To be plain and simple: Damien Perrinelle is out on a yellow card suspension (as well as having suffered a hamstring injury) and will not play tonight. His replacement? Per Big Apple Soccer, Jesse Marsch has said, "We are going to go with Roy", which is pretty clear.
Last week, I had Roy Miller playing CB against the Sounders in my prediction. He is a veteran for the club and has the most experience playing as part of New York's back line. Though he is a strong left back for the club, he has the ability to fill in at center back, a position he occasionally plays for Costa Rica. Miller's experience qualifies him for the job at hand: part of his value to this team should be the adaptability that comes from having played for so long.
As mentioned in Bulls Abroad this week, two of New York's players are soon to be leaving us for international duty: Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica) and Karl Ouimette (Canada). Thankfully, these players will not be gone for a few more days which will allow both to play tonight against Houston. However, this will in fact affect New York's lineup one way or another, in their match on June 16th against the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) in the U.S. Open Cup. The match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 20th will also be impacted.
But, for now, New York is able to call on its internationals: Lawrence, Ouimette and Miller (who will also be on international duty in June, but should be back in time to play in USOC if required).
The future may demand Marsch deploy scarcely used defenders Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Anthony Wallace, and Connor Lade. Ronald Zubar will hopefully return from injury during the June break. Because any further knocks or suspensions to the back line, and Jesse's once well-stocked defense will be perilously under-staffed.
You can watch the New York Red Bulls take on the Houston Dynamo and hope to avoid further defensive problems tonight at 9:00 PM EST on UniMas, the UniVision Deportes app, as well as MLS LIVE.