Vancouver Whitecaps vs New York Red Bulls Preview

HARRISON, NEW JERSEY- JULY 24: Ronald Zubar #23 of New York Red Bulls is challenged by Andrea Pirlo #21 of New York City FC during the New York Red Bulls Vs New York City FC MLS regular season match at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey on July 24, 2016 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

This Saturday the New York Red Bulls are back in action north of the border against the Vancouver Whitecaps. For the second this season, the Red Bulls travels take them into Canada. The last fixture saw the Red Bulls defeated 3-0 at the hands of the Montreal Impact back on March 12. The Red Bulls will be without starters Sacha Kljestan and Kemar Lawrence due to international duty.

Three Players to Watch

Veron, Royer, and Damari

With the absence of Kljestan due to U.S National Team duty, the attacking midfield role can be given to any one of these three men. Omer Damari seems to be the man most likely to take on this role, as this has been the slot he has played in his few appearances. In Omer’s short time at the club, he has constantly been a danger man for New York. Scoring his first goal vs. Allianz FC in CONCACAF Champions League play, Omer has been a constant threat for the Red Bulls Attack. Daniel Royer is another option for this role, he has shown great skill in his appearances on the wing and plays a very similar style to Kljestan. Gonzalo Veron might be the least likely option, as Veron has shown much more promise in a striker’s role for the squad compared to a midfielder’s role.

Bradley Wright-Phillips

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been on a tear as of late. Currently one goal off the Golden Boot lead with 16, BWP is heating up in the dwindling days of summer. Wright-Phillips has four goals in his last three MLS fixtures, and I expect him to continue his run of great form against the Whitecaps.

Dax McCarty

The Captain has healed a lot quicker than most were expecting. Dax will make his first since going down with a tibia fracture against the Chicago Fire back on July 31.  McCarty is sure to be fired up and will be ready to reclaim his starting role.  Giving the stability and leadership back to the Red Bulls midfield his presence is surely to give New York a much needed boost on the road.

Prediction

The Red Bulls have certainly struggled to hold leads on the road this season.  In a stretch that has seen New York give up leads in their last three road games and have all of them finish 2-2, they need to get mentally tougher.  Especially now as they head into a country that they have not fared well in.  The Red Bulls have not won in Canada since a 2-1 defeat of Toronto FC in April of 2013.  I expect the Red Bulls to come out and prove they still got it to win on the road.  They will play a team that is next to last in the West and will be looking for three points.

Score: 2-1 Red Bulls win.

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