And so begins the 23rd season of Red Bulls/MetroStars history. It was one helluva ride getting here: the Kljestan trade, #KakuWatch, the CD Olimpia and Tijuana matches - but we’re finally here and ready to start the season.
Coming off a stunning 2-0 upset of Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Red Bulls begin their MLS campaign at home, and will undoubtedly feel confident as the Portland Timbers under ex-MetroStar Giovanni Savarese come to town.
Despite losing their opening game against LA Galaxy, Portland still boast several star attackers, including reigning MLS MVP Diego Valeri, and strikers Sebastian Blanco and Fanendo Adi. Beating this Timbers team will likely require a defensive effort similar to what we’ve seen in the CCL.
Here is the RBNY predicted XI vs Portland:
GK Luis Robles
LB Kemar Lawrence
CB Aaron Long
CB Aurelien Collin
RB Michael Murillo
DM Florian Valot - After a strong showing as a substitute against Tijuana, Valot deserves to make his first MLS start while Marc Rzakowski rests.
DM Tyler Adams
LW Alex Muyl - It’s the perfect opportunity for Kaku’s first start! Which means Muyl probably starts instead...
AM Sean Davis
RW Daniel Royer
FW Carlos Rivas - Bradley Wright-Phillips is probably going to be rested for this one given the quick turnaround to the next game.
Bench: Meara; Escobar, Lade, Parker; Etienne Jr., Gamarra; Wright-Phillips
The Red Bulls have become notorious for their slow starts, and an impending showdown with Tijuana at Red Bull Arena will probably cause Jesse Marsch to rest some extra players, even if it is the home opener.
It will be interesting to see which players on the Red Bulls best XI Jesse Marsch decides to play three times in seven days