While the New York Red Bulls succumbed to a dismal 13th-place overall finish last season, the Wizards won the Western Conference, coming 3rd overall.
As the New York Red Bulls gear up for the new campaign, their first full season under the tutelage of head coach Gerhard Struber, fans will no doubt be in for more of the same in terms of a focus on young players and high-octane pressing.
Despite a poor season last year, the team remain one of the division's most recognisable outfits and this is thanks to the club's clear and definable identity, an identity very much in line with the Red Bull football formula.
A crucial cog in the success of the team this year is likely to be Struber himself, who started his career in the RB Salzburg academy before a stint in England with Barnsley.
After storming to victory in the Western Conference last year, Wizards' fans will be expecting more of the same from their beloved team, but a tough away fixture against New York Red Bulls could be a tough test for the side.
Ahead of the new campaign, it is worth mentioning that the team has experienced somewhat of a transition in terms of personnel during the offseason, with quite a few old heads making way for a younger generation.
With the old guard making way, the team is now markedly younger and Vermes will be heavily relying on this younger generation to kick on from where the side left off last season.
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It is unclear how Struber's men could line up this weekend, but it could reflect elements of a standard 4231 formation, which is how the team ended last season.
Amro Tarek could stake his claim at the heart of the defence in the absence of Parker.
The Wizards finished the last campaign playing in a 4141 formation and it is unlikely that Vermes will dispense with a winning formula.
The gaps in the team left by leaving veterans could be filled by the abundance of young talent at the club.
New York Red Bulls possible starting lineup:
Meara; Duncan, Tarek, Long, Pendant; Yearwood, Davis, Royer, Clark, Valot; Barlow
Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Lindsey, Puncec, Zusi, Dia; Llie, Russell, Espinoza, Busio, Duke; Shelton
We say: New York Red Bulls 1-2 Sporting Kansas City
Whether or not the New York Red Bulls can get some form together this season is yet to be seen but if the Wizards play anything like they did last season, they should be able to rise to the occasion this weekend.