The New York Red Bulls still have about a week between them and their first competitive opponent of 2018: Honduras’ Olimpia in CONCACAF Champions League. But today’s friendly against Sporting Kansas City is the last time RBNY fans can expect to see their team play before the season-opener in Costa Rica on February 22.
Whatever happens against KC on February 14 need not be taken as any great predictor of the outcome of RBNY’s 2018 CCL campaign, or anything else the team does this season. But opportunities to watch how the Red Bulls are coming together for the new season have been rare so far this preseason: the team has played five friendlies since January 27, but only one has been streamed for fans to watch from afar.
In this game, there will be some clues as to the lineup and formation Jesse Marsch might deploy for at least the start of the 2018 season - though it is likely hindsight will reveal those clues most conclusively. Mostly, it will be a lightly-contested scrimmage between two MLS teams whose most immediate competitive priorities do not involve each other.
Still, it’s the last chance to see RBNY’s first team in action before the 2018 season gets underway for real.