Preview: New York Red Bulls v Orlando City SC

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by MARK FISHKIN

The Red Bulls play their final midweek league match of the season tonight at Red Bull Arena against an Orlando City side that’s in disarray.

With an interim coach at the helm, and with only two wins since April 3rd, the Lions are lost in the wilderness in club’s second season. MLS All-Star Kaka will not play for Orlando, but young Cyle Larin will, and Red Bulls fans know the damage that he can do. Three nights after a scoreless draw, can New York step up and take three points at home?


Match Information:

Wednesday, July 13th at Red Bull Arena. 7:30p ET Kickoff

TV/Streaming: MSG and MSG GO (Optimum and xfinity subscribers)

Red Bulls Radio: TuneIn App and www.newyorkredbulls.com/matchday/radio

Referee: Sorin Stoica

Record: GF/GA, Division & League Position, Current League Form

New York: 23 points from 19 gms, 28GF/25GA, 4th in the East, 11th in MLS, WLDLD

Orlando: 17 points from 17 gms, 28GF/29GA, 8th in the East, t15th in MLS, DDWLD


Projected Lineups:

New York

NYvORL

Orlando

ORLvNY


The Red Bulls attack vs. the Orlando defense

Bradley Wright-Phillips vs. Luke Boden, David Mateos, Seb Hines, Kevin Alston, and Joe Bendik

The Red Bulls’ second leading all-time scorer took two shots on Sunday against Portland. Neither found the frame. BWP has scored once in New York’s last five league matches. Although the Lions back line shutout Houston on the weekend, the story isn’t pretty. Orlando has conceded ten goals in the club’s last five matches, including a 4-0 pasting by FC Dallas on July 4th. Left back Luke Boden is a holdover from the club’s USL days. Mateos bounced around the Hungarian, Greece, and Spanish leagues before joining Orlando midway through last season. Seb Hines (2G) was yellow-carded in the clubs’ first meeting this season, a 3-2 New York win. Former Rev Kevin Alston could generate his most MLS appearances in a season since he figured as a regular in New England in 2012. Keeper Bendik has played every minute for the Lions, posting two clean sheets and conceding an ugly 1.71 goals per match.

Advantage: New York


The Lions’ attack vs. the New York back line

Cyle Larin vs. Connor Lade, Aurelien Collin, Damien Perrinelle, Chris Duvall, and Luis Robles

Larin (8G/3A) does like to score against New York, with four tallies in four matches all-time in the Red Bulls’ net. Like BWP, the Canadian International has only one score in his club’s last five games. Injuries have wrecked havoc on the New York defensive corps, with Gideon Baah out for months, and Kemar Lawrence still on the shelf. Lade is eighth on the club in league minutes play and has started seven of New York’s last eight league matches. Collin returns from suspension not a day too soon, to be joined by Damien Perrinelle, who should start his first MLS match this year after performing admirably in 70 minutes on Sunday. Duvall will give Sal Zizzo a much needed rest on the right side. Robles will pass Tony Meola on the all-time club MLS match appearances list tonight with his 126th start.

Slight Advantage: New York


The Midfields

Mike Grella, Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe, and Gonzalo Veron vs. Brek Shea, Harrison Heath, Kevin Molino, Cristian Higuita, and Darwin Ceren

Although the Red Bulls haven’t scored in two matches, Sunday saw a few bright spots –one being the distribution from Gonzalo Veron, who clearly exhibits a speed that hasn’t been seen on the right in some time. New York needs its midfielders to shoot more, and not be content to try and pass the ball into the net. Felipe had two strong chances against Portland that went wanting. For Orlando, Brek Shea (1G/1A) has been pushed back to his left flank position he played as an up-and-coming US National Teamer. Heath is the son of the now-deposed former Orlando head coach. Molino (6G/5A) scored in the Red Bulls’ 1-1 draw with the Lions at Camping World Stadium on May 6th. Former Colombian Youth International Higuita is in his second season in Orlando. Darwin Ceren (1A) has appeared for the Salvadoran national team more than thirty times, and frequently as captain.

Advantage: New York


The Coaches

Jesse Marsch must be looking forward to having a week in between matches after this weekend’s tilt in Philadelphia. Marsch has experimented once again with the 4-2-2-2 in an effort to get BWP some help up top, though Sunday the switch didn’t generate any goals.  Bobby Murphy and Orlando City B manager Anthony Pulis guided the Lions in the club’s scoreless draw with Houston. While they are auditioning to guide the big club permanently, they are stopgap measures in place until ownership can fill the role.

Advantage: New York


Intangibles

New York has posted five straight shutouts at Red Bull Arena, last conceding in the three-two victory against Orlando on April 24th. BWP has three goals in the previous two matches in the series this season. Tonight is New York’s final match against Orlando this regular season. Orlando is 1-4-7 on the road, New York is 6-2-1 at home. The Red Bulls were blown out by the Lions last September in a 5-2 loss in which Cyle Larin scored a hat trick.  Tonight’s crowd should be light. Midweek league matches draw on average five thousand fewer fans than on weekends. There’s a chance of pop-up thunderstorms around kickoff, but temperatures should be in the very comfortable upper seventies.

Advantage: New York


Prediction:

This Orlando team is in a bad way. They have interim coaches, their big star in injured, and they’re not great on the road. New York has to be more willing to shoot the ball and hope good things happen. Veron will be confident, and will score in a 3-1 New York win that will set the stage for the first of three big contests against Philadelphia on the weekend.