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Match Preview - June 21st 2023
The New York Red Bulls will be playing at Red Bull Arena for what feels like the first time in ages. The last match was on June 3rd and was a 3-0 implosion against Orlando City in which Andres Reyes was red carded early in the second half. RBNY will be looking to set things right after a long break against fellow midtable strugglers Charlotte FC who currently occupy 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings and are 3 points ahead of RBNY having played one match more than New York. The Red Bulls will be desperate for a win and will surely have used the break to rest some tired legs in preparation for Wednesday’s match. After going undefeated in their first four games in all competitions under new head coach Troy Lesesne, the Red Bulls followed that up with four consecutive losses including a 1-1 draw that was decided by penalties versus Cincinnati in the Open Cup.
Since 2022, the inaugural season for Charlotte, the Red Bulls and Charlotte FC have faced off four times including in the Open Cup. In that time frame the Red Bulls have gone 2-1-1 against their rivals from the Queen City, their most recent result being a hotly contested 1-1 draw on the road. That match will be remembered for some controversial officiating that many Metro fans feel Charlotte escaped with a red card before finding the late equalizer. The last home meeting between the two sides was a comprehensive 2-0 win in which Elias Manoel scored a brace early in the second half.
Charlotte FC have had an okay start to the season and are currently 10th in the Easter Conference with 22 points and a-8 GD through 18 matches. While in a similar position as the Red Bulls around halfway through the season it is for entirely different reasons. While they have over double the goals scored this season as the Red Bulls with 25, they also have the league's worst defensive record with 33 goals conceded. Their last time out was a riveting 3-3 draw versus the Seattle Sounders on just 3 shots on target all match including an 89th minute strike by Patrick Agyemang to avoid a 3rd defeat in a row. Their last road match was an equally entertaining 4-2 loss against the Columbus Crew in which both goals for Charlotte came shortly after halftime before Columbus put the game out of reach. Given how few points separate teams in the Eastern Conference standings, Charlotte will be equally desperate for a win on the road.
New York Red Bulls
Questionable: Omir Fernandez (hamstring), Dylan Nealis (groin)
Out: Serge Ngoma (Hamstring), Lewis Morgan (hip), Steven Sserwadda (knee), Andres Reyes (suspension), Cory Burke (international duty), John Tolkin (international duty)
Questionable: Enzo Copetti (thigh), Kamil Jozwiak (thigh)
Out: Hamady Diop (abdominal), George Marks (leg), Derrick Jones (suspension), Karol Swiderski (international duty), Bill Tuiloma (international duty)
Red Bulls (4-2-3-1): Coronel; Duncan, S. Nealis, D. Nealis, Tolkin; Amaya, Stroud; Luquinhas Yearwood, Barlow; Vanzeir
Charlotte (4-3-3): Kahlina; Afful, Sobocinski, Malanda, Lindsey Bender, Bronico, Westwood; Meram, Copetti, Vargas
How to Watch?
The New York Red Bulls will face off against Charlotte FC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ this Wednesday June 21st - 7:30 ET. Television coverage is available in English and Spanish through Apple TV MLS Season pass. Radio Coverage will also be available in English through TuneIn, the NY Red Bulls App and NewYorkRedBulls.com
New York Red Bulls vs Charlotte FC Prediction
Our beloved Red Bulls will be looking to turn things around at home after this extended break from league play. However, given that only three matches separate the two teams in the Eastern Conference expect this fixture to be highly contested. Spectacularly, the Red Bulls anemic offense will be facing the league’s worst defense and should hopefully generate some scoring opportunities. While Charlotte has been much more potent offensively this season than the Red Bulls, defensively the Red Bulls have been outstanding and are the only reason they are still hanging around midtable. It will truly be which team makes a mistake first in this match however given the nature of the 1-1 draw on the road earlier in the season, the Red Bulls will surely have revenge on their mind.
Prediction: New York Red Bulls 2-1 Charlotte FC