After a solid performance against the San Jose Earthquakes - five goals and one terrible goal celebration - the Red Bulls will another Western Conference opponent, expansion side Minnesota United FC.
Ok, I didn't see anyone else do this but not sure how that's possible #Royering #Henrying #RBNY pic.twitter.com/XBkfOoG0Wu— Derbinated Player (@FIA_Derby) July 21, 2017
The start of the season was not a good one for Minnesota. Every time you saw the Loons on national television you were wondering how many goals they were going to give up.
We will remember the clash of expansion sides as Atlanta United scored six goals at the University of Minnesota’s football stadium - Miguel Almiron got a hat trick in that match to stamp that victory.
But now it looks like the terrible start has been rectified, and MNUFC is going to be a tough challenge for the Red Bulls.
“They had a tough start to the year and they recovered a lot. They haven’t given up as many goals lately and they have been good at home and we have to understand that taking this team lightly will put us in big, big trouble,” said RBNY head coach Jesse Marsch, “So we took a little bit of extra time in video to make sure we look at things carefully and help the team understand who they are.”
Let’s also not forget about the trade with the Colorado Rapids that brought over Sam Cronin to give some big help in the Minnesota midfield and provide a little more cover for the back line.
But the one thing that can be a factor playing at 4PM Eastern/3PM Central is the heat and Christian Ramirez has said the field turf will give issues to the players and the possibility of blisters.
“We’ve talked about what the elements will be and we’ve handled this in New England and the message is too bad,” said Marsch, “That’s how we have to deal with it, we’ve been dealing with bad fields in CONCACAF and bad fields within our league and so our approach is to figure out what it takes to get a result.”
Kevin Molino came over from Orlando City when Adrian Heath became the head coach of this club and it looks like he is the danger man every time he gets the ball at his feet. We remember him with Orlando City and how he was able to score during the Mother’s Day weekend last year at Camping World Stadium.
But on the healthy bodies front it looks like Michael Murillo will be in RBNY’s 18-man roster for the game as he has returned from Gold Cup Duty with Panama. And both Tyler Adams and Connor Lade shoult be available as well.
“Murillo will be in the eighteen no doubt, he’s back and feeling good. The last game wasn’t too taxing on him so it will be a decision whether he starts or comes off the bench,” said Marsch, “Both Tyler and Connor are fine. We have a good complement of guys to see to figure out a rotation and who to put out there.”
The Red Bulls are 5-0-2 in their last seven inaugural meetings against MLS expansion sides. The team’s last loss in a meeting like this was at the Seattle Sounders to start the 2009 season.
But Minnesota United FC are looking dangerous and have a solid fan base at home in their first MLS season. RBNY will be challenged to keep recent and historic success going.