The Red Bulls are flying high after a nearly-flawless July that saw them advance to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semi-Finals and won four straight MLS games - two on the road - to surge up the MLS table.
But now the Red Bulls head to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for a re-match with the last team to beat them: New York City FC. The last time these two faced off it was at Red Bull Arena and the Cityzens soundly beat the Red Bulls in a 2-0 beatdown that was not nearly as close as the score would indicate.
New York City FC have been a powerhouse at home this year, and the team has only suffered one loss at Yankee Stadium to date. With the defense playing much better as well (despite their recent hiccup against Toronto FC) this will be the stiffest road test the Red Bulls have had in the Eastern Conference to date, and one that could very well shape the rest of the season for both teams.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs NYC FC:
GK Luis Robles - With just 76 minutes played, Robles would surpass Dax McCarty for all-time minutes played in all competitions for the Red Bulls.
DF Kemar Lawrence - Here's to hoping that Kemar Lawrence can be plugged into the new system in a way that maximizes his potential. And can he PLEASE take the free kicks in this game?
DF Aaron Long
DF Michael Murillo
WB Alex Muyl - The Homegrown attacker-turned-defender has been very good these past few weeks, but there is always the possibility that Marsch will replace him with a healthy 4th defender - maybe Fidel Escobar?
WB Tyler Adams
AM Sean Davis - Davis' recent form has earned him continued work up front, but it shouldn't come as a surprise if he makes way for another attacker like Gonzalo Veron or Derrick Etienne Jr.
AM Sacha Kljestan - After a pitiful performance in the previous match against the Cityzens, Kljestan has really come into form. Will it continue on Sunday?
AM Daniel Royer
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips
In the previous game, the Red Bulls looked lethargic, slow, disorganized and out of form. There was a strong belief that all hope was lost after that game.
But, the Red Bulls recent form has been a far cry from the lethargic group that lost in Harrison. The new formations and assignments that Jesse Marsch has put together in recent weeks has paid huge dividends.
Marsch's skill as a game-planner will be truly put to the test against this New York City team.