For the third straight year the Red Bulls face Philadelphia in the U.S. Open Cup, but this time it'll be at Red Bull Arena.
Granted, Red Bull Arena has not been quite the fortress this year that it was last year, but given the numerous injuries on defense, poor form by the veterans and the downgrade from Dax McCarty to Tyler Adams & Sean Davis, it's easy to understand why.
Nonetheless, the Red Bulls need a win to get some momentum back after their disappointing loss to NYC FC this past weekend - and nothing would get a team back on track quite like a U.S. Open Cup win.
The Union, of course, take the tournament very seriously and will be putting out the strongest possible team for this one. To come away with a win, Jesse Marsch will have no room for error.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs the Philadelphia Union:
GK Ryan Meara - The only legitimate chances Meara has to get minutes for this team in 2017 is in the Open Cup. Hopefully he plays better against Philly this time than last time.
DF Kemar Lawrence
DF Aurelien Collin
DF Aaron Long
DF Sal Zizzo - With Murillo being called up to the Panama national team, someone else is going to take his spot. And based on his satisfactory performances of late, it will probably be Zizzo over Connor Lade
DM Tyler Adams
MF Alex Muyl
MF Sacha Kljestan
MF Daniel Royer
FW Gonzalo Veron - The Argentine's speed was a big factor in the win over Philly the Sunday before last. Why shouldn't he get the start against Philly this time around?
There really is no excuse for Jesse Marsch not to play his strongest team for this one. After this game the Red Bulls won't have a game for another week when they travel to Foxborough for a showdown with the New England Revolution.
If Marsch does play his B-squad in this game just to give the team extra rest, he will be making a serious error.
What do you think?