We have been advised to expect a couple of senior first-team faces on the bench when the New York Red Bulls take on New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on August 28. Dax McCarty and Damien Perrinelle are ahead of schedule with their respective injury rehab programs, and apparently are ready to be considered for playing time again.
Both players will be a boost to a team that needs a few more options on the defensive side of the ball. On the attacking side, head coach Jesse Marsch's cup runneth over.
It was early July when the Red Bulls let it be known they were looking for attacking help. And in early July attacking help was needed: from June 22 to July 10, RBNY played five competitive games - and managed just three goals in that stretch.
Since then, however, the threat of reinforcements to the squad, more than the reality of their arrival, seems to have spurred the team into a scoring spree. In the Red Bulls last nine games in all competitions (seven in MLS; two in CONCACAF Champions League), they have scored 21 goals.
All that to say, this week's prediction is Jesse will mostly stick with the team that started last week's game in DC. The players he wants back in the lineup - McCarty and Perrinelle - aren't quite ready. And the roster's starting-caliber attacking depth (Gonzalo Veron, Omer Damari, and Daniel Royer) simply have to bide their time until one of the current starters loses form.
Looking at Sal Zizzo to step back in at right back to add a little more to the attack, and keep the team's full back options rotated.