Sounders v Red Bulls Desert Diamond Cup match 3 - preview

Cahill and Juninho look to power Red Bull for a full season - Jennifer Stewart

The final match of the group stage in the Desert Diamond Cup features forever cupless (majors, to be fair they've got 3 exhibition trophies) New York Red Bulls against the Seattle Sounders at 6 PM tonight.

After yesterday's news it would be easy to forget that there are still three preseason matches left this week. Tonight is the first of those as the Seattle Sounders FC face a revamped New York Red Bulls squad. They now have a coach that understands MLS in Mike Petke, brought in at least three starters (Juninho, Espindola and Olave) and even signed a couple HGPs. Despite a great regular season record in 2012 their goal, similar to Seattle's goal, is to win the MLS Cup for the first time. Nothing else matters.

To get there Matt from Once a Metro explains that tonight will be more about first team tuneup than for the depth guys.

Petke needs to see a complete game Wednesday night against the Sounders. Against Real Salt Lake, the starters created a number of chances in the final third. Against the Revolution, they kept the ball, but putting it in the back of the net just wasn't coming.


Tactically, everything seems to be coming along and based on whose been seeing time, Petke seems to know who he wants to bring into the team. Now, it's a matter of bringing it all together.
Sigi Schmid on the other hand is going to use this match to winnow down the roster as there is a slot or two open after the likely signing of Djimi Traore was added to the likely signing of Dylan Remick. Leaving both slots open would net Seattle Allocation Money, but there are players in camp that can help the team.

Expect to see a starting lineup of rotational players as the First XI will be facing Veracruz on Friday night to help them prepare for the contest with UANL Tigres. That means a heavy dose of Mario Martinez, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Lamar Neagle, Marc Burch, DeAndre Yedlin, Eriq Zavaleta, Sammy Ochoa, one of the trialist centerbacks and a depth keeper.

The second half should see spot appearances by a mix of trialists and maybe even a spot appearance by one of the likely starters.

Seattle already locked their first appearance on national television with their Saturday appearance in the Desert Diamond Cup Final on NBC Sports, but Red Bull can join them with a three goal win and a draw in tonight's other match.

Sounder at Heart will again carry the livestream by MLSSoccer.com.
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