After losing a 2-1 decision Saturday to the New York Red Bulls, the Union make the trip back up the New Jersey Turnpike for Tuesday's quick rematch at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Unlike Saturday's game, which was a Major League Soccer matchup, this game is a qualifying match for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that has no bearing on MLS standings. Now in its 97th year, the tournament is open to all United States Soccer Federation affiliated teams, amateur and professional.
The Union and Red Bulls are apparently going to enter with different philosophies. Asked after the last game if he will use his starters for the quick rematch with New York, Union team manger Peter Nowak was brief, but to the point.
"Is there a trophy?" he asked. "Then we will play the best players."
Assistant coach John Hackworth said some changes could be made in the lineup.
"We have had discussions whether to go with our first team or whether the guys who have been training really well, [but are] not in our first 11, should play," Hackworth said, "and I think we will have a little balance."
New York coach Hans Backe suggested after Saturday's win that he would likely give many of his reserves a chance to play.
One of those players is Penn Charter graduate Chris Albright, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from two knee surgeries.
Albright isn't eligible to come off the disabled list for MLS games until May 8, the Red Bulls' seventh league contest. He is, however, able to compete in the tourney game.
"I haven't played a meaningful game in over a year, and it would be good to get out there," Albright said in the Red Bulls' locker room. "I have been feeling good but still have a little ways to go."
One interesting aspect is how the Union will handle the playing time of 18-year-old midfielder Roger Torres.
Arguably the most creative player on the team, Torres has started all four games, but he has yet to finish one. Slight of build at 5-feet-5 and 140 pounds, Torres had his shortest outing against the Red Bulls, playing just the first half.
"I think he struggled a bit with the pressure and trying to find his rhythm from left to right," Nowak said. "He struggled to find the passing channels. It just wasn't his day."
At 1-3, the Union is just looking to establish a winning attitude and will likely have more urgency than the 4-1 Red Bulls.
Even though the Union are expected to play more starters, don't be surprised if young players such as rookies Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney see more time. Mwanga came off the bench to play 30 minutes against the Red Bulls, while the 17-year-old McInerney played the final 12 minutes.
"This is not just an extra game. This is a game we want to win," Hackworth said. "We need it more than ever."