Brutal Schedule Awaits Red Bull II in New USL

Red Bull II

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
Staff Writer

After all the hype and excitement dies down, Red Bull II will find that their inaugural season in the USL may end up being extremely brutal.

In total, they will play 28 games within the Eastern Conference, and if they should be moderately successful, additional playoff games will await. Despite the leagues efforts to cut down on travel cost by having teams play within their conference, Red Bull II will have to face a barrage of home games in potential brutal conditions and long stretches of away games all while trying to mold themselves into a cohesive unit in their first year.

What makes the USL season so brutal for Red Bull II? The answer is in the fixtures. The team will debut at Red Bull Arena on March 28th and spend the next four out of five weeks at friendly confines. It may sound like a pleasant start, except for the fact that March tends to be an unpredictable month for weather patterns. Just two years ago, the MLS Red Bulls played DC United in their home opener on March 16th amidst a snow showers. At least for them they had already had a lengthy preseason and two games in milder weather to become accustomed to each other. Red Bull II will be thrown right into the fire and face a Rochester Rhinos team, on day one, that almost eliminated a fantastic LA Galaxy 2 side in the first playoff round.

Things don’t get much easier from there. They have a second home stretch in May before departing on a six week road trip. Six straight away games will see the team traveling from as north as Montreal to as far west as St. Louis. If the team hasn’t gathered enough cohesion by then, things may get nasty in a hurry.

The only thing that one can take a bit of stock in knowing is that every one of the USL teams faces a similarly brutal schedule, easily making it one of the toughest scheduled soccer competitions in North America.

How this will effect the team’s decision making overall is still only speculation. There is still little knowledge of the team’s roster, although it may likely somewhat mirror the MLS Reserve team that played against certain USL Pro sides throughout the year. Also expect new draft picks and out of form players to make appearances or even rehab starts before joining the 1st Division side. This may end up being an extremely impressive unit that will see top level talent circulating in and out the way a baseball farm team operates. If so, it will be difficult to tell just how they will react to the brutal schedule that USL has put forward in their relaunch year.

  • Fred

    Ah, baptism by fire. What better way to inaugurate the Baby Bulls?