The New York Red Bulls' 11th game of the 2016 season seems as good a time as any to bring back our pre-game lineup predictions [Editor's Note: any one of the preceding 10 games would have been better.], so let's have at it.
RBNY heads down to DC with perhaps its first encounter this season with a good problem to have: the team is in good form and the squad is mostly fit. Having dealt with a mostly fit squad at the start of the season (Gonzalo Veron being the primary exception), and then an injury-riddled roster ever since, and not having any lineup playing particularly well until the last three games: Jesse Marsch is no doubt a lot happier with his current problem than his earlier ones.
Damien Perrinelle, Ryan Meara and Karl Ouimette (presumed to be still nursing a sore back) are the only absentees this column is aware of, and none was likely to have been penciled in for a start in this game.
At the back, we're told Gideon Baah is ready to "begin to factor into the decision making", per Jesse Marsch. That sounds like a coach who isn't quite ready to hand out a start to a player who is being cautiously nurtured back to fitness with reserve team outings.
Instead, recent arrival Aurelien Collin has been getting a lot of attention, and seems poised to hang on to his place in the starting lineup.
As such, the only change Once A Metro thinks we'll see from the starters who kicked off against Orlando last week is the return of Gonzalo Veron - and the club's cherished 4-2-2-2.
Meanwhile, Gonzalo Veron and BWP have trained together up front for #RBNY. Kljestan at RW.— Christian Araos (@Christian_Araos) May 11, 2016
Against DCU, one might expect Marsch to keep the faith with RBNY's resident DC-killer, Lloyd Sam. But that tidbit out of team training suggests otherwise. So OaM is reading way too much into training ground kick-arounds and saying Sam gets dropped for Veron in DC (or he starts on the left, but we can only pick one option - and we're picking the bench for Sam).