New York Red Bulls will be looking for their third consecutive win when they host Vancouver Whitecaps in the Major League Soccer (MLS), regular season matchup at Red Bull Arena, on Thursday morning (IST).
The hosts are in the playoff position in the Eastern Conference, while the visitors are reeling outside the top-seven in the Western Conference.
Bulls have played two games fewer than the 3rd placed Montreal Impact, who are just four points better than New York.
Vancouver meanwhile are in a desperate need of a win, for Real Salt Lake in 7th are three points ahead of them on the table having played a game less than them.
The MLS match will be played between New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps at Red Bull Arena, in Harrison, New Jersey. The ground has a capacity of 25,000. The game will start at 05:30 AM (IST), on Thursday, May 23.
In India, DSport has the rights to broadcast five regular-season matches in a week, as well as select MLS Cup playoff games and MLS Cup.
Recent form (Last six matches) New York Red Bulls – L W W L W W Vancouver Whitecaps – L D W W L D
New York Red Bulls Team News:
French midfielder Florian Valot will be undergoing surgery for a torn right ACL, according to official reports. The 26-year-old attack-minded player took to Instagram to reveal about his injury.
A few more players are carrying knocks and will be evaluated before the match. The players being Bradley Wright-Phillips (groin injury), Aaron Long (hamstring injury) and Vincent Bezecourt (knee injury).
Winger Andreas Ivan picked up an ankle injury in the last game and will be assessed.
Centre-back Tim Parker was given a straight red card after the referee saw his physical tussle with Josef Martinez as the last-man offense. So he will be serving a ban here.
Possible ins and outs of this game:
First choice goalie Luis Robles was an injury doubt before the last game against Atlanta United. But he started that match and played a starring role as 10-man Reb Bulls won 1-0. So he will be starting this match ahead of Ryan Meara.
Sean Nealis is the likeliest player to come in for the suspended Parker. Though, utility player Connor Lade is the option as well. But the former scored a goal a fortnight ago, so he is ahead in the line.
Considering New York stopped Atlanta’s five-game shutout run, expect head coach Chris Armas to name a similar XI here.
Forward Brian White has scored just two goals in the five appearances he made for Red Bulls this season. And the fact that Tom Barlow scored his first MLS goal in the last game while coming in for White in the 55th minute, makes the case better to start here for Barlow.
Probable XI: Robles (GK), Duncan, Sean Nealis, Tarek, Lawrence/ Lade, Rzatkowski/Cristian Cásseres, S. Davis, A Ivan/Derrick Etienne, A Romero, D. Royer, Brian White / Tom Barlow
Vancouver Whitecaps Team News:
Six players are on the Whitecaps’ injury list ahead of this match. The list is as follows:
Matthew Baldisimo (left ankle contusion) and Jesser Khemiri (left knee injury) will be missing the match due to an injury.
Yordy Reyna continues to be on the sidelines as the 25-year-old is recovering from a hamstring injury.
In addition, David Norman Jr. (right foot injury) and Lass Bangoura (left hamstring strain) complete the absentee list for this match.
Centre-back Doneil Henry is the latest player to join Whitecaps’ growing injury list. He has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Possible ins or outs of this game:
If not for the heroics of goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps could have been in a far precarious situation in the Western Conference. He is one of the first names on the matchday sheet these days.
Goals are like Goldust for Vancouver these days as they are averaging less than one goal per game this season. They needed a late goal to salvage a point in the last game and the hero was 21-year-old Canadian Centre-back Derek Cornelius who volleyed home a 94th-minute equalizer.
Striker Fredy Montero leads the scoring charts with 3 goals for Whitecaps.
As mentioned, left-back Victor Pagliari Giro, commonly known as PC, was playing on the left side of the three-man attack. Considering the injuries Whitecaps have, manager Marc Dos Santos may stick to that line-up.
However, if Dos Santos does decide to change the formation, he may look to flood his midfield to frustrate the hosts. Hwang-in-beom provides the option, while Derek Cornelius may be given a rare start in a 3-5-2 formation.
Probable XI:M Crepeau (GK), Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski, Russell Teibert, Felipe Campanholi Martins, Andy Rose, Lucas Venuto, Victor Pagliari Giro / Hwang-in-beom, Fredy Montero
Potential Game Changers: Top fantasy picks
Fredy Montero (VAN): 3 Goals, most by Vancouver player this season.
Brian White:Ended a run of four games without a goal against FC Dallas fortnight ago.
Doneil Henry:The Center-back has two goals to his name and is always a threat from the dead ball situations.
Stats and facts:
New York Red Bulls boast the best home record in the MLS history; home wins- 102. Points earned- 337
Two of Vancouver’s 3 seasons wins came in the last three games.
10 different players have scored for New York Red Bulls in the last 7 MLS games.
Midfielder Felipe Campanholi Martins will be returning to the Red Bull Arena for the first time since joining Vancouver a year back in the trade that saw Tim Parker moving to the other direction.
Vancouver have two wins at Red Bull Arena in the five MLS matches.
Breakdown of both team’s stats (Season 2018-19)
New York Red Bulls | Vancouver Whitecaps
Goals scored: 12 | 13
Wins: 5 | 3
Losses:5 | 6
Draws:2 | 4
Goals conceded: 14 | 16
Shots: 94 | 99
On Target:49 | 44
Total Assists:33 | 15
Corners:55 | 60
Fouls Committed:139 | 148
Fouls Suffered:151 | 160
Players in the spotlight:
Minutes played: 822
Goals scored: 2
Shots on Goal: 7
He is a versatile player who can be drafted in any position in the midfield which gives Red Bulls both quality and the depth. The 29-year-old Austrian is the joint highest scorer for Red Bulls this season, while his contribution of 4 assists to the team’s cause is the best.
Goalkeeper:Maxime Crepeau Defenders:Connor Lade, Sean Nealis, Amro Tarek, Derek Cornelius Midfielders:Alejandro Romero, Daniel Royer (C), Hwang in-Beom, Andy Forwards:Brian White (VC), Fredy Montero
VAN vs NYRB Dream11 potential winner: New York Red Bulls are clear favorites to win the game.