It has been over a year since the New York Red Bulls last lost an MLS regular season game at Red Bull Arena. So for the sake of the team's title ambitions in 2017 it would behoove them to keep that streak alive as they welcome D.C. United to Harrison on Saturday, April 15.
After losing three of their last four games and being outscored 2-8 in the process, things are looking glum for the Red Bulls. Between the lack of goals, the lack of defense and the lack of available players, the Red Bulls have about as much work to do as any team in MLS right now.
As for D.C. United, the RFK Stadium residents have talent across the board with GK Bill Hamid, DF Steve Birnbaum, and attackers Luciano Acosta, Lloyd Sam, Patrick Mullins and Sebastian Le Toux providing them with a playoff-caliber roster.
After three weeks of failing to score a goal, D.C. are now on a two-game winning streak with four goals in their last two games against the Philadelphia Union and NYC FC. Acosta may prove particularly troublesome to the Red Bulls as the Argentine attacker has scored in each of those two wins.
Of course, the Red Bulls will still be trying to figure out their ideal starting XI in the continued absence of attackers Mike Grella and Gonzalo Veron. And until the attacking conundrum gets solved, things are going to be very frustrating at Red Bull Arena.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs D.C. United:
If Lade is healthy he should start. There was nothing from Sal Zizzo last week to indicate he deserves to start for a second week in a row.
The temptation to bench Adams for Sean Davis is high, but given that Adams has played some of his best soccer both for RBNY and NYRBII at Red Bull Arena, Jesse Marsch should give the U-20 wonder-kid one more shot.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Damien Perrinelle, Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne Jr, Alex Muyl, Amir Murillo
It is also worth noting that D.C. United were the only team in the Eastern Conference that the Red Bulls failed to beat at least once back in 2016, and in the last two meetings between the two teams the Red Bulls gave up two-goal leads in the final minutes.
Needless to say, a win over D.C. United would go a long way towards exorcising some of last year's demons and getting back on track in 2017.
What do you think?