Suffice it to say, Sunday's loss to NYC FC was a humbling experience, and between the looming suspensions for both starting CBs Chris Duvall and Aurelien Colin, it looks like things may get a tad worse before they get better.
Luckily, for the first time since mid-June, the Red Bulls will have a full week to rest before a home bout with Portland. During that time though, there will be a friendly against Liga MX giants Club America - arguably the most dominant team in all of CONCACAF.
Whereas before the brutal road stretch Jesse Marsch may have been inclined to field a strong team to really showcase his squad's talent against an internationally acclaimed club, the injuries, lack of rest and all-around bad mood will probably lead him to field a team of relatively young, inexperienced or otherwise fitness-testing players.
We know for a fact that Damien Perrinelle will be making his debut for the squad, and we can only assume that some of the homegrowns and Red Bull II stars will get a chance to earn some minutes against a quality opponent too.
Here is the Red Bulls predicted XI vs Club America:
GK Ryan Meara - Robles gets another rest day as Marsch continues to determine if Meara truly is his No. 2
DF Connor Lade
DF Damien Perrinelle - Marsch has already tipped DP to play around 70 minutes to demonstrate his fitness. Welcome back!
DF Chris Duvall - Considering Duvall is out against Portland and won't see the pitch again until next week against Orlando, Marsch may want to keep him fresh.
DF Justin Bilyeu
MF Shaun Wright-Phillips - Not 100% sure if he's back from last week's injury, but we'll find out for sure today.
MF Tyler Adams - Healthy after his concussion and ready to play
MF Alex Muyl
MF Lloyd Sam
MF Gonzalo Veron - Marsch's admission that the Red Bulls are looking for another striker/finisher/DP was about as direct a shot at Veron as he could possibly make
FW Brandon Allen - Tearing it up for Red Bulls II, now Allen has a chance to shine with first-team quality players
Being a friendly, it's hard to say how determined the team will be to make the match competitive as opposed to being a glorified USL-like game. That said, there are a lot of questions about the supporting cast after the last few weeks that need some answers tonight.
What do you think?