If we're being honest, the only real difference between the Red Bulls of the late-summer/early-autumn and the Red Bulls who lost six of their first seven games is that the current Red Bulls are scoring goals of their own before conceding at an alarming rate in the final minutes of games.
Correlation does not always equal causation but perhaps teams have cracked Jesse Marsch's High Press code to the point that all they need to do is avoid letting a game get out of hand before giving the ball to their playmakers. Late-game struggles remain the main reasons the Red Bulls are in third place in the Eastern Conference as opposed to running away with the Supporters' Shield - even with the mass of injuries to their defense and midfield along the way.
Regardless, the Red Bulls need to solve their own problems in time to take on a Montreal Impact team that plays well on the road - certainly better than the Red Bulls - and is hungry for points after going three straight without a win. Montreal will do anything for the points to avoid being caught in the playoff race so the Red Bulls need to be wary that they don't give up points at home again.
Here is the New York Red Bulls predicted XI vs Montreal Impact:
GK Luis Robles
DF Kemar Lawrence
DF Aurelien Collin
DF Damien Perrinelle - Zubar might be fit to go for the Red Bulls last CCL match against Antigua, but DP should be able to fill in on Saturday.
DF Chris Duvall
MF Dax McCarty - The captain should be back to full fitness this weekend and Sean Davis could be conserved for the CCL match in Guatemala or as a late-match sub.
MF Mike Grella - With the way Daniel Royer has been contributing lately the Austrian winger is really pushing for Grella's spot. But it's easy to envision Grella getting back into the starting lineup.
MF Sacha Kljestan
MF Alex Muyl
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips
After David Villa's brace against Chicago on Friday the NYC FC striker is now just one goal behind BWP for the Golden Boot while Sebastian Giovinco is primed to make his return this weekend as well. Is the Goal King capable of keeping up his pace long enough to ward off the challenge of his sure-footed rivals?
What do you think?