New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake | 2017 MLS Match Preview
New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake
2017 MLS Regular Season
Red Bull Arena - Harrison, N.J.
Saturday, March 25 - 4 p.m. ET
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A reeling, injury-plagued Real Salt Lake travel to take on the New York Red Bulls, just days after dropping the hammer on erstwhile head coach Jeff Cassar. Former director of goalkeeping Daryl Shore will take the sideline lead, with a tough task ahead: the Red Bulls are a stingy home side, with two straight finishes atop the Eastern Conference. Coming off a road loss in Seattle, RBNY are sure to be raring for a chance to bottle up a thus-far anemic RSL offense, which has produced but a single goal thus far.
New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls won their first two games in grind-it-out fashion, a comeback victory in Atlanta and a road win at Colorado both aided by pressure-induced opposing own goals. The formula failed in Seattle, which broke the Red Bulls' press to hang a 3-spot on the scoreboard. Last year's delayed run to the East's top seed shows that once New York's offense gets going, it's likely to hum. They're just hoping it takes fewer than two months this time.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: Sacha Kljestan (United States); Michael Murillo (Panama)
- Injury Report: OUT: Connor Lade (torn ACL), Gideon Baah (broken leg), Gonzalo Veron (hamstring injury)
Projected starting XI (4-2-2-2): GK: Luis Robles — Sal Zizzo, Damien Perrinelle, Aaron Long, Justin Bilyeu - Felipe, Sean Davis - Mike Grella, Daniel Royer - Fredrik Gulbrandsen, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Notes: While the Red Bulls' club-record 18-game unbeaten streak is now over, they still have a 15-game home unbeaten run (13-0-2). They have outscored opponents 33-10 and kept nine clean sheets across those matches.
- Week 4 MLS storylines
- Aaron Long settling nicely with Red Bulls after offseason move from USL
- Red Bulls say RSL have something to prove
- Recovered from ACL tear, Connor Lade to return to Red Bulls on Saturday
- By the Numbers: A numerical guide to RBNY vs. RSL
- Watch: Marsch, Robles, Felipe preview RSL
Real Salt Lake
After three-plus years of Jeff Cassar's leadership, RSL brass finally felt they had fallen too far behind the transition curve from Jason Kreis. But with playmaker Albert Rusnak off on international duty with Slovakia, Salt Lake will be straining to find replacement options off an already-thin bench, and creativity – already in short supply – could be sorely lacking.
- Suspended: Kyle Beckerman (red card)
- Int’l Duty: Nick Rimando (United States); Albert Rusnak (Slovakia)
- Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: Joao Plata (hip contusion), Jordan Allen (right quad strain), Aaron Maund (hamstring injury), Justen Glad (knee injury), David Horst (knee injury), Chad Barrett (knee injury), Tony Beltran (back injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Matt VanOekel — Reagan Dunk, Chris Schuler, Justin Schmidt, Demar Phillips — Luke Mulholland, Sunny - Brooks Lennon, Luis Silva, Sebastian Saucedo - Yura Movsisyan
Notes: Real Salt Lake are averaging 2.3 shots on target per game, the third-lowest total in the league so far in 2017.
- Week 4 MLS storylines
- RSL fire head coach Jeff Cassar
- RSL explain decision to axe Cassar: "We were a little behind"
- RSL attack must improve after Cassar's departure
The Red Bulls have only lost once in nine previous MLS regular season home matches vs. Real Salt Lake (5-1-3). They have outscored Real Salt Lake by a 2-1 average across these nine games.
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Kathryn Nesbitt (bench side), Nick Uranga (far side)
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez