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Minnesota United FC vs. New York Red Bulls | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United FC vs. New York Red Bulls
2017 MLS Regular Season
TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minn.
Saturday, July 22 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, ESPN Deportes (USA) | TSN2 (Canada)

A newly resurgent New York Red Bulls side – fresh off a 5-1 hammering of the San Jose Earthquakes that moved them back above the playoff game – will surely like their chances heading into a nationally-televised clash at an injury-ravaged Minnesota United FC side that has struggled offensively in the last month and dropped points in just over half its home matches.

Still, Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has warned against complacency against a side that has improved markedly on the defensive side of the ball after beginning their expansion season at a historically bad clip.

“Minnesota still has not been easy to beat at home in the last couple of months,” Marsch said this week. “And we’ll have to go on turf. It will be a hot day and they’ll challenge us in a lot of different ways.”

While Minnesota have a long way to go (nine points, to be exact) to salvage their already-fading playoff chances after a 0-0 home draw against Houston on Wednesday – the third time in 11 home games they have been shut out – the Red Bulls are back over the playoff line in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and will be hoping to both move away from the chasing pack.

Minnesota United

A battered Loons side heads into this one with 10 players absent via either injury or international duty, plus another five listed as questionable. It’s left head coach Adrian Heath with little room to maneuver in terms of his squad selection, especially on the backline where only one true center back is available.

The threadbare nature of the team heading into this weekend means that some of Minnesota’s summer transfer window signings, who have spent very little time with the club, could be pressed into immediate service. New Zealand international center back Michael Boxall is a good shout to step into the backline, otherwise Justin Davis could slide over from left back.

Minnesota's other summer pickiup, Scottish winger Sam Nicholson, may not need to be rushed into action, with a little more depth available at that postion, especially if Miguel Ibarra can go after picking up an ankle knock on Wednesday.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next yellow card: D Brent Kallman
  • Int’l Duty: D Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica, Gold Cup), D Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica, Gold Cup)
  • Injury Report: OUT: M Bernardo Anor (left lower leg), GK John Alvbage (left thumb), M/D Thomas de Villardi (left Achilles), D Marc Burch (sports hernia), M Rasmus Schuller (left thigh), D Kevin Venegas (right thigh), D Joe Greenspan (head), M Sam Cronin (neck); QUESTIONABLE: M Johan Venegas (left thigh injury), F Abu Danladi (right hamstring injury), M Miguel Ibarra (left ankle injury), Christian Ramirez (right thigh injury); D Vadim Demidov (left knee injury)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Michael Boxall, Justin Davis – Collen Warner, Ibson – Miguel Ibarra, Kevin Molino, Bashkim Kadrii – Christian Ramirez

Notes: Following Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw with Houston, Minnesota are now winless in their last three home games (1L-2D). They had failed to win only three of their first eight league home games (5W-3L). … Minnesota’s Christian Ramirez was caught offside twice against Houston. His 18 total offsides this season are tied with Bradley Wright-Phillips for the sixth most offsides in the league.

New York Red Bulls

After a first half that featured some drab play and plenty of hand-wringing from the fans, the Red Bulls exploded coming out of the Gold Cup, dropped five on the San Jose Earthquakes (the first time they’ve scored that many since last year’s infamous 7-0 win over NYCFC). The outburst can be partly attributed to a shift to a 5-4-1 formation (more on that here), but they’re not about to let the midweek pasting they dished out go to their heads.

“It was good,” Red Bulls head coach Marsch said of the win over San Jose. “The game was in grasp. Now, they’re dangerous on counters a couple of times so it could have been tied at some point. I think it was very good and we’re moving in the right direction, but I still think there is plenty of room for improvement.

“We’ve been in a good way. We’ve had some results pile up for us. We’ve rotated the formation a little bit and we think it gets the best out of a lot of guys, but you always have to be careful that you always continue to have your minds in the right places and you don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”

  • Suspended: D Kemar Lawrence (following international duty)
  • Suspended after next yellow: None
  • Int’l Duty: Kemar Lawrence (Gold Cup, Jamaica)
  • Injury Report: OUT – D Gideon Baah (broken leg), M Mike Grella (knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE – D Aurelien Collin (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI (5-4-1): Luis Robles – Tyler Adams, Michael Murillo, Aaron Long, Damien Perrinelle, Connor Lade – Sean Davis, Felipe, Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Royer – Bradley Wright-Phillips

Notes: The Red Bulls are searching for their first three-game road winning streak since April 13-May 4, 2013. They have scored five goals in their last two away games after scoring four in their first seven away games this year (1W-6L). … The Red Bulls five goals against San Jose on Wednesday night was just the 15th time in franchise history that they scored five or more goals in a league game (14W-1D). It was the second time they have scored five or more in an MLS game under Jesse Marsch.

All-Time Series

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Referees

  • Referee: Hilario Grajeda
  • Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea (near side), Anthony Vasoli (far side)
  • 4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
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