The New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City will limp into Red Bull Arena to face off on April 9.
For the Red Bulls, the injury bug has been limited to the back line, with the exception of forward Gonzalo Veron. Defenders Gideon Baah, Kemar Lawrence and Ronald Zubar are all out injured for the contest against SKC forcing the team to test the limits of their defensive depth. Midfielder Felipe will not feature in the match after being suspended for picking up a red card last week in New England. Second year midfielder Sean Davis is expected to take Felipe's place in the starting lineup.
Jesse Marsch has confirmed he will run a backline of Connor Lade-Karl Ouimette-Chris Duvall-Sal Zizzo for the match. Only one of those four started opening day, and Marsch is playing Duvall, a right back, out of position instead of trusting second round draft pick Zach Carroll with the start. Duvall will be making his first appearance, in any capacity, at center back. For the Red Bulls to succeed, the stabilizing factor of Karl Ouimette and the defensive play of Dax McCarty will be imperative.
Marsch told NewYorkRedBulls.com that he expects Duvall to have a "great game" even out of his natural position. This will be Duvall's first match since July 2015, when he suffered a broken leg against the New York Cosmos in U.S. Open Cup play.
"He's an energetic guy, he comes to work every day with a smile on his face, he's a great competitor, he gives everything he has," Marsch said. "He'll do whatever it takes to help his team win. If he features this weekend, I expect him to have a great game."
Kansas City will be without three starters and two key reserves as they travel to Harrison hoping to stop a six game winless streak, including playoffs, against the Red Bulls.
According to The Kansas City Star, SKC captain Matt Besler remains bothered by a concussion suffered from United States National Team duty in March. Besler reportedly failed concussion protocols this week and is ineligible to play against the Red Bulls.
In addition to Besler, starters Brad Davis and Soni Mustivar will be out against the Red Bulls due to a concussion and hamstring injury according to the Star. On top of Davis and Mustivar being out, reserves Justin Mapp and Paulo Nagamura are on injured reserve and will not feature for the team.
The Red Bulls currently sit 1-3-0 after winning the league's Supporters Shield last season. They will be hoping to neutralize the 3-1-0 SKC.