Somebody must have hired a DC United fan to put this schedule together because the Red Bulls are being royally screwed out of all momentum with this insane number of games over a one month stretch - and we don't even have our Champions League fixtures set yet!
Nonetheless, Jesse Marsch is going to need to make some serious decisions this week as to what is more important: Going all out in hopes of a revenge win over the Union in an effort to get farther in the US Open Cup? Or preserve the starters for a crucial game against a well-rested, momentum-laden New York Smurfs FC?
If Luis Robles' words from the game against Rochester Rhinos is any indication though, the Red Bulls are going to go all in for this tournament (or as all-in as they physically can) and are going to start as many of their top players as they can.
As a result, four or five significant changes from the starting lineup against Columbus appear to be in the cards - particularly on defense and at the No. 10.
Here is the Predicted XI for the Red Bulls vs Philly Union:
GK Luis Robles
DF Sal Zizzo - The other defenders may be healthy, but Zizzo has performed well there this season and Jesse may want to rest some of the injured/struggling backs for the derby
DF Aurelien Collin - Back from his suspension and well-rested as a result, he'll be eager to help RBNY win his first match back.
DF Ronald Zubar
DF Connor Lade
MF Dax McCarty
MF Lloyd Sam - After getting a spot on the bench against Colombus, he'll take Kljestan's spot at the No. 10 as Jesse tinkers with the playmaking role
MF Gonzalo Veron - Alex Muyl played the whole game against Columbus, so Veron looks to get his spot.
MF Mike Grella
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips - Jesse is going to keep feeding Bradley's hot-hand.
The obvious omission was Sacha Kljestan - the lone scorer from the win over Rochester - but given the depth at midfield this seems like as good a time as any to rest the man.
What do you think?