A decisive victory over Orlando City SC courtesy of Connor Lade and Felipe has given the team renewed confidence after a four-game road spell that netted just 1 point and elimination from the US Open Cup.
That Open Cup defeat came courtesy of the Philadelphia Union, who embarrassed Jesse Marsch so badly in a 2-1 defeat that he went on a mini-rampage on the sidelines that will result in a one-match ban for next year's Open Cup.
To call the dominance of the Philadelphia Union one of the most surprising storylines of the season would be quite the understatement. Whereas last year they finished with 37 points in total, they are now a top-two team in the Eastern Conference and have been atop the table more often than not.
Jesse Marsch will have his work cut out for him if he wants to stop the best scoring team in the East and leave Eastern PA with any points, let alone a much-desired three.
Here is the Red Bulls predicted XI at Philadelphia Union:
GK Luis Robles - It'll be the Iron Man in goal, not the backup.
DF Connor Lade
DF Aurelien Collin
DF Damien Perrinelle - Jesse Marsch indicated this past week that DP is all-systems go, and is eligible for the start.
DF Sal Zizzo
MF Dax McCarty
MF Felipe - While Felipe had a superb performance from the 10, Sacha Kljestan is the team's real 10 when he's on the pitch
MF Mike Grella
MF Sacha Kljestan - Marsch has been putting Sacha and Bradley on a minutes count to keep them fresh. After getting Wednesday off, he'll be solid on Sunday.
MF Alex Muyl
FW Gonzalo Veron - The finishing still needs a lot of work, but Veron consistently found himself with tons of room to wiggle his way towards the goal. With Bradley Wright-Phillips needing a rest, Veron could get the chance to shine up front.
Of all the road games left on the schedule, this will easily be the toughest among the Red Bulls' Eastern Conference foes. With a rematch against NYC FC the week after followed by a fairly brutal August schedule, getting at least a point on the road to avoid Philadelphia taking a bigger lead would be great - but a win would be superb *knock on wood*
What do you think?