Stub

Positional Breakdown: Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls



Nick Rimando is one the league’s best, with the second lowest goals-against-average (0.71) in MLS. If there’s anyone whose reflexes can match up with the attacking talents of the Henry-Ángel combo, it’s Rimando.

GOALKEEPERS

 

Greg Sutton will be called into action again to replace RBNY regular and Senegal call-up Bouna Coundoul. In his lone appearance of the year two weeks ago, the veteran was shaky and the rust was clearly visible.

RSL central defenders Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers may have the size to compete with Juan Pablo Angel, but they can be caught chasing when it comes to the accelerating speed and tricky footwork of Thierry Henry.

DEFENDERS

Danleigh Borman can effectively replace left back Roy Miller, called up by Costa Rica, but the Red Bulls back four has shown it can be exposed when faced with speed like RSL’s Robbie Findley.

While Andy Williams may not be able to replace Will Johnson’s work rate, the Jamaican’s ability to keep possession and draw fouls can prove equally effective. Ned Grabavoy and Kyle Beckerman will need to work extra to fill the defensive holes.

MIDFIELDERS

The absences of Rafa Márquez and Dane Richards to international duty, coming off their best matches last weekend, will severely impact RBNY. Their likely replacements, Seth Stammler and Mac Kandji, are very different players and the Red Bulls have not been as incisive a team in attack with them. 

Fabian Espindola and Findley have only started four matches together this year (RSL has a 2-1-1 record). While the Argentine is clearly in form, the pressure will be on Findley and whether he can be as much a handful as Costa Rican international call-up Alvaro Saborio.

FORWARDS

Ángel and Henry are quality and class. But how dangerous they can be is purely dependent on the service they receive. Without Márquez and Richards unlocking the opponents’ back line, this remains the biggest question mark.

Aside from left midfielder Nelson Gonzalez, RSL do not enjoy an abundance of proven talent off the bench and they instead count on younger players.

BENCH

Four absences due to international duty will hurt any team’s depth, but the Red Bulls can still turn to veterans midfielders Carl Robinson, Sinisa Ubiparipovic and forward Ibrahim Salou.

When his team could have easily folded between travel and heartbreaking results, manager Jason Kreis has found a way to keep his team hungry and focused. Real Salt Lake are the only undefeated team at home in MLS and the altitude makes for a real advantage.

MANAGERS

Red Bulls manager Hans Backe continually downplays expectations for his squad but RBNY are in the race for the Supporters' Shield. However, they will need belief they are worthy competitors with three of their next four games coming on the road against title contenders RSL, FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy.


MLS LIVE now only $7.99

Decision Day presented by AT&T is Sunday. But, one thing is already decided. MLS LIVE is the best way to watch all the out-of-market action on Decision Day (October 22)*. You can watch multiple games on multiple devices or watch four games on one screen with your laptop. Subscriptions are only $7.99 (or $4.99 if you use our iOS app). *Some blackout rules apply.

MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T

Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm ET

Decision Day is the only day of the season when every team plays at the exact same time. The result is the most intense and dramatic two hours of the MLS season as teams fight for playoff positions. Watch MLS's thrilling end to the season on ESPN & MLS LIVE.

Pay As We Play!

New York Red Bulls Pay As We Play Playoff Plans, presented by New Jersey Lottery for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are available now! Red Members have their normal seats included for up to two playoff games, but have access to additional seats through the Pay As We Play program.