New York Red Bulls
Playing without coach: John Spencer

UPDATE: MLS officially suspended Spencer from Sunday's match and fined the coach $2,500. "John Spencer's recent public criticism of MLS officials was not constructive and will not be tolerated," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

Scouting Thierry Henry: Even casual soccer fans are probably familiar with Henry, the Red Bulls’ striker. The list of accomplishments for the French star is daunting: The all-time goal-scorer and five-time national player of the year for France helped lead his country to victory at the 1998 World Cup. He has been named to the UEFA Team of the Year five times and led Premier League team Arsenal in scoring for each of his eight seasons with the club. At 33 he’s lost a step, but dropping down to MLS has let him prolong his career as an offensive star—Henry ranks second in MLS with seven goals, and he has four assists. He just needs one touch in the box to punch in a goal, so any time Henry possesses the ball is a time for the Timbers to be afraid.

Gold Cup absences: Portland escaped unscathed when players defected from their MLS teams to compete for their countries in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Teams like New York, by contrast, are down several players and leaning heavily on their depth. These weakened teams present a golden opportunity for the Timbers to test the depth of a stronger club. The Red Bulls are currently without starting defenders Rafa Marquez and Tim Ream, midfielder Dane Richards and oft-contributing midfielder Juan Agudelo, all of whose national teams advanced in the tournament. Starting midfielder Joel Lindpere is also questionable with a foot contusion. This leaves the Red Bulls weak on their back line and will force them to either play a conservative formation that buoys the defensive backs, or attack as usual and take their chances with a Timbers offense that hasn’t scored in the run of play since April 30.

Calm in the box: Portland was able to possess the ball offensively and put together threatening attacks against the Rapids on Saturday. But finishing was a whole new headache. The Timbers took 18 shots and ended up shut out. Several uncontested shots -- including those by Jorge Perlaza, Darlington Nagbe and Ryan Pore -- misfired as the players either rushed their shot or went wildly errant. Portland will get their chances against the Red Bulls, but finishing those opportunities is what matters.