The Red Bulls will be getting very familiar with their Eastern Conference rival New England Revolution over the next few days as they are set to play the team twice in a row - first in tonight's MLS contest and then next Thursday in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarter-Finals.
Unfortunately, for this particular leg the Red Bulls will be particularly vulnerable. Starting defenders Kemar Lawrence and Michael Murillo are on international duty for Jamaica and Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup; starting defensive midfielder Tyler "AmeriKante" Adams has been suspended for this game by DisCo, and as of this morning Aurelien Collin has been ruled out for this week's match as well .
Combine all of that with the fact that the Red Bulls have only one win as the away team against New England since 2003 and you have a recipe for disaster - even if the Revs happen to be missing two or three big players of their own.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI at New England Revolution:
GK Luis Robles
DF Connor Lade - With Kemar Lawrence out and Justin Bilyeu waived, it looks like Connor Lade will be retaking his spot at LB.
DF Aaron Long
DF Damien Perrinelle
DF Sal Zizzo
MF Sean Davis - With AmeriKante suspended it looks like Sean Davis should be a lock to have his starting job back for at least one week.
MF Alex Muyl - Hopefully whatever personal reasons Muyl had to miss last week's game against Philadelphia have been resolved
MF Sacha Kljestan
MF Daniel Royer
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips
With neither team capable of fielding their best possible squads for this game, the only purpose this match will serve for the Red Bulls on the whole will be their fitness for next week's U.S. Open Cup match.
Suffice it to say, whoever loses this game will be at a huge emotional disadvantage in the even-more important U.S. Open Cup match week.
What do you think?