After two straight road losses, the Red Bulls return to the comfortable confines of Red Bull Arena for a showdown with West Coast rival LA Galaxy. And you can be sure that defender Connor Lade has been licking his lips for this match since last August.
Many Red Bulls fans will remember the 2016 match against the LA Galaxy with great disdain. Not only did the Galaxy tear Lade's ACL, ending his campaign and sidelining him for over six months, but they committed blatant fouls which then-referee Hilario Grajeda infamously failed to call as penalty kicks on multiple occasions.
Sean Davis and Gonzalo Veron likely remember that game as well - both scored goals in the game and showed glimpses of their talent, only for the team to concede another two-goal lead that erased their heroics. The two would both find themselves back on the bench within weeks, their strong performances wasted.
Suffice it to say, a lot of players are eager to get revenge on the Galaxy.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs LA Galaxy:
GK Luis Robles
LB Kemar Lawrence
CB Aaron Long
CB Michael Murillo - He's quickly establishing himself as solid option at RB, so if Sal Zizzo can move inside, why can't Murillo?
RB Connor Lade - You just know Lade has been waiting nearly a year for this game.
DM Sean Davis - With Tyler Adams spending the next few weeks at the U-20 World Cup, Davis will get another chance to reclaim the starting job
AM Daniel Royer
AM Sacha Kljestan
AM Mike Grella - It may be a leap to give Grella the start after just a few minutes on the pitch against Philadelphia, but Red Bull Arena has seen far more surprising starters this season.
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips
Bench: Ryan Meara; Damien Perrinelle, Sal Zizzo; Dan Metzger; Alex Muyl, Gonzalo Veron, Fredrik Gulbrandsen
As for the visiting team, the Galaxy have struggled significantly since head coach Curt Onalfo came in to replace Bruce Arena at the helm. Injuries and poor play have left the team with just eight points from their first nine matches.
Of course, just because the Galaxy are struggling now doesn't mean they will against the Red Bulls. The team has been outscored 9-3 against Western Conference foes this year and only beat 22nd-place Colorado thanks to an own goal.
In the end, the Red Bulls will need to channel some more of that Red Bull Arena magic to get back on track in this game. Thankfully, that hasn't proven to be much of a problem since April 2016 (*knock on wood*).
What do you think?