Going into Week 3, the 2017 MLS table looks like an upside down version 3rd Week of 2016: The Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo are all on top, while nearly half of last year's playoff teams are still looking for their first wins.
If the Red Bulls want to keep their edge in the Eastern Conference, they'll have to travel to the dangerous CenturyLink Field in Seattle to take on the reigning, defending, undisputed MLS Cup Champions of the world: The Seattle Sounders - in their first home game of 2017 no less.
Perhaps no team in MLS has a group of attackers more dangerous than the Sounders: DPs Clint Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro are both superb scorers who have already found the net this season, while the 2016 Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris scored 12 goals last year en route to caps and goals for the USMNT.
Defensively the team is stout as well with guys like Chad Marshall, Brad Evans and Stephan Frei minding their net. Fortunately for the Red Bulls, star defender Roman Torres will be out for the game, which should allow for a few more openings for the team to try and attack.
So far in 2017 the Sounders have not won a game in either preseason friendlies or MLS, but that is a trend which they are bound to buck sooner or later.
Perhaps more so than they did against Atlanta United or Colorado, the Red Bulls have their work cut out for them if they want one point, let alone three.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI at Seattle in MLS Match 3:
GK Luis Robles
LB Kemar Lawrence
CB Damien Perrinelle - Though he's the oldest player on the team, Perrinelle has looked very spry in his last two weeks as a starter.
CB Aaron Long
RB Sal Zizzo - If Zizzo really is on his way off the starting lineup as some have suggested, he won't leave without a fight, as he demonstrated last week against Colorado.
DM Sean Davis
AM Sacha Kljestan
AM Daniel Royer
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips
FW Fredrik Gulbrandsen - Though he had only a brief cameo in the win over Colorado last week, Gulbrandsen has apparently impressed Marsch enough to be starter-eligible - and he might as well pull the trigger while it's early in the season.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Michael Amir Murillo, Aurelien Collin, Tyler Adams, Derrick Etienne Jr, Mike Grella, Alex Muyl
Seattle will be full of energy with their supporters getting to see them at home for the first time since they won the MLS Cup, so the atmosphere will be as noisy - if not more - as the season opener against Atlanta.
Most Red Bulls fans would have eagerly signed up for six points from the first three matches of the season, so whether the final result is a win, lose or draw, the Red Bulls are already in a position where they can figure out their identity without conceding too much ground on the table.
Needless to say though, a win would still be the preferred outcome from Sunday.
What do you think?