Well, after a tale of two halves that ended in a scoreless 0-0 draw, RSL will face the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. The Red Bulls are coming off of a 3-2 victory over FC Cincinnati. The last meeting between RSL and the Red Bulls ended in a brutal 4-0 beatdown with the Red Bulls coming out on top. So, what can we look forward to on Saturday from the Red Bulls?
Against FC Cincinnati, the Red Bulls went with a 4-4-2 lineup that had David Jensen in between the goalposts, Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Amro Tarek, and Patrick Seagrist across the backline, Florian Valot, Sean Davis, Cristian Casseres Jr. and KaKu in the middle, with Brian White and Daniel Royer up top. During the second half Josh Sims replaced Kaku, Tom Barlow replaced Brian White, and Marc Rzatkowski replaced Daniel Royer. Kyle Duncan, Kaku, and Daniel Royer all scored.
With the departure of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles, the Red bulls look a little different than what we saw last season. They added youth in the off season with notable additions in David Jensen, Mandela Egbo and Patrick Seagrist, although Egbo did not make the starting 11 or the bench vs. FC Cincinnati. Expect a similar lineup on Saturday as against FC Cincinnati.
Some things to watch
The Red Bulls started strong against Cincinnati, but they seemed to struggle in the second half, conceding 2 goals. If the first half team from their win last weekend shows up, the Red Bulls will be a challenge. So, look for the Red Bulls to come out firing, as their record is quite good when scoring first.
The Red Bulls have a new goalkeeper, as their last, Luis Robles, went off to be the captain of Inter Miami. The defense looked shaky in the second half against Cincinnati at times. They will be looking for more cohesion and connection among their back four to try to provide more support for Jensen.
RSL has the attacking pieces to break the Red Bulls down, but will the creative players of RSL have enough time to work in order to capitalize off chances? The Red bulls back four and Jensen will try their best to not allow this.
And last but not least, look for the Red Bulls to continue with a strong offense, as they did not seem to miss a beat after losing the prolific goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips who took his talents to LAFC. Look for them to challenge RSL’s new keeper and defense. They will look to break down the back line of RSL and target any players playing out of position.
Valot has been in good form for the Red Bulls, and Kaku, Duncan, and Royer all have the potential to score on Saturday in the RIOT. Look for more of the play to go through creative midfielder Casseres Jr.