Preview: NYRB II Faces Confident Charlotte Independence

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
USL Writer

New York Red Bull II will need every bit of confidence they have gained from their recent three game winning streak to battle the rolling Charlotte Independence at Ramblewood Soccer Complex on Wednesday night. Recent victories over Harrisburg City, Richmond and St. Louis have New York on solid footing in the standings but a surging Charlotte team is riding high off of their impressive 4-2 victory over Rochester this past weekend.

A short turnaround for New York should see them go to their bench a bit more which has considerable depth with recent signings. Expect Sefano Bonomo, the recent 22 year old signing, to play a major role in the game with significant minutes if not a start.


Projected XI:

New York Red Bull II: Castano; Thomas, Da Fonte, Plewa, Heffron; Akinyode, Williams, Castellanos, Bedoya, Sanchez; Bonomo

Charlotte Indpendence: Lampson; Jerome, Slogic, Ribeiro, Newnam, Duckett, Martinez, Zahorski, Martinez, Del Piccolo, Alvarez

Players to Watch: Stefano Bonomo will certainly have significant minutes given the quick turnaround from Sunday’s game against St. Louis. NYRB II’s latest signing is a welcome relief to a striking core that has been slowly gaining confidence but still will occasionally lack that killer punch. In the few minutes he played against St. Louis, Bonomo had several opportunities and was nearly in on a breakaway before being called offside.

X-Factor: Momentum. Both teams are coming into the game feeling very confidence. For New York it’s consistent efforts and late goals while for Charlotte it’s all about dramatic results. Their win over the previously undefeated Rochester Rhinos will have them buzzing but whether or not there will be a layoff from that high remains to be seen.


Unpredictable Charlotte

While the Independence have begun stringing together positive results, the team is still rather unpredictable. Their results have been scattered with occasional losses to sub-par teams like St. Louis. There definitely seems to be a trend going, especially now that the team has a three game unbeaten streak but new teams still trying to find their identity are certainly difficult to scout.

New York will know that Charlotte is susceptible to high pressure as their defense tends to break as the game wears on. The question is whether or not the Independence offense, which has delivered six goals in their last two games, will show up to keep them in the game.

New York Needs a Sharp Back Line

One criticism of Red Bull II recently has been their reliance on the athletic goalkeeping of Santiago Castano. The young keeper started the season rather shaky but has developed into one of the more formidable shot stoppers in the league. Still, any team relying on their goalkeeper to be their best defender is asking for trouble. New York’s defensive lapses have not been too costly of late but against Charlotte, it may prove to be enough to keep them in the game.