Since last week's devastating 4-1 loss to Houston, the New York Red Bulls have been dealing with a lot of issues: more injuries, possible formation changes, and more personnel reshuffling.
The team has not been adjusting well to the 4-2-2-2 formation, scoring only twice in the last three games while giving up seven goals on defense. As a result, the team seems on the verge of changing formations like it did last year to get a spark.
Orlando City SC, meanwhile, has been making some changes of their own. Despite jettisoning Brek Shea, Julio Baptista and Kevin Molino, the Lions still have superstar Cyle Larin attacking the net and earning looks across Europe for his stellar play.
OCSC lost to Columbus last week, but is 2-0 at home this year and has given RBNY fits in the past. Larin in particular has four goals from his last two starts against the Red Bulls.
If players like Erick Torres and Dylan Remick can make mincemeat of the Red Bulls defense, the back line will have serious problems against a player of Larin's caliber.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI at Orlando City SC:
Damien Perrinelle - With Aurelien Collin's status unknown, Perrinelle should find himself back in action
Sal Zizzo - Connor Lade might only be fit for spot duty in this game, so Sal Zizzo should be back in the lineup
Fredrik Gulbrandsen - A healthy Gulbrandsen is a starting Gulbrandsen.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Connor Lade, Aurelien Collin, Alex Muyl, Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne, Amir Murillo
While there is still plenty of time for the Red Bulls to get their act together, they can take a big step toward that goal by avoiding a third consecutive blowout loss on the road this season. Their road failures cost them the Supporters' Shield in 2016, and if they are to be reasonably considered a contender for the regular-season title in the early stages of 2017, there does need to be some sign that the team isn't a pushover away from home.