Gooch, Elliott vs. NYCFC

Onyewu suspension provides opportunity for centerbacks

Oguchi Onyewu will be forced to miss the Union's upcoming match at New York Red Bull due to yellow card accumulation, as the centerback earned his sixth yellow card of the season against Minnesota United FC. 

Onyewu's card came in the 55th minute, as he tangled feet with Ethan Finlay in the run of play, causing him to fall. The yellow was Onyewu's first in six games, but still met the criteria for the automatic suspension. 

Onyewu's absence means a whole next to Jack Elliott, which could be filled by either Josh Yaro or Richie Marquez. 

Yaro has gotten the nod more recently, with him earning three starts at centerback in the last five matches. Those three starts came in relief of Onyewu, who was returning from injury. During his first two starts, Yaro played the full 90 minutes, occasionally jumping up into the offensive plays but mostly using his speed to track the opposing attack. However, he earned a straight red card in his most recent start, the Union's match against Atlanta United FC. 

Yaro sustained a slight knee injury in training this week, as noted by Head Coach Jim Curtin in his weekly press conference, which could present an opportunity for another player to slot in next to Elliot. Curtin said in training the last couple of days, that played was Marquez. 

Marquez made an appearance for the Union after Yaro's red card against Altanta United FC his most recent for the Union. He played 36 minutes in the match and defended well. Marquez's last start for the Union came back in April, but he has been getting time at Bethlehem Steel FC. Combined between Steel FC and the Union this season, Marquez has two goals in 14 games played. 

Curtin said regardless of who slots in next to Elliott, the Union will be ready for Red Bull.

"Richie had a very good day of training, that's how we trained, with Elliott and Richie on his left," Curtin said. "It's something we're confident in. His number could be called on for sure. We're still talking through what's the best way to approach Red Bull. Josh will be back in training soon, so we'll see how it goes."

Download the FREE MLS App

Follow the Union's scores, updates, highlights, analysis and more.