NYRB II: Wolyniec Eyes Talent in Arizona

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

The New York Red Bulls’ first team is home preparing for their CONCACAF Champions League game against Vancouver on Wednesday night. That leaves a crop of young MLS, USL and players on trail attempting to make an impression on NYRB II Coach John Wolyniec.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for these guys,” Wolyniec said. “I’m trying to convey to them as much as possible that playing against first team MLS players is a great opportunity for them. It’s a great place to show that you belong, or you belong in the future or that you have some promise by being able to compete and being able to stand on the field with some of the best players in MLS.”

Currently Wolyniec is coaching a group could well be helping him defend its United Soccer League championship in a month’s time. Players such as David Najem, Vincent Bezecourt, Tim Schmoll and Florian Valot are expected to be there when the season kicks off. Itis draftees like Zeiko Lewis and Ethan Kutler, however, who are looking for roster spots along with trialists Duane Muckette and Bradley Nestor.

“Obviously we don’t have a lot of time to work these guys in and get them up to speed on all the team tactics,” said Wolyniec, who only has two preseason games remaining before the rosters are set for the start of the Major League Soccer season. “They’re just going to have to show an understanding of at least certain tactics that we ask them to apply and show the willingness to put the work in.”

New York currently has one of the more talented MLS reserve teams playing in the USL. Playing time is dear, as much as it is for the senior side. Still, it is a surplus of riches. Not only is it the scouted talent but also the academy prospects such as Kevin O’Toole who is eager for playing.

“We demand a lot physically of all our players and that part needs to be shown,” Wolyniec said. “And then how well they can fit in and play as a group and stay in tune with the group because when we’re being aggressive against the ball, we can’t have guys that are losing focus or not quite staying up to speed. They just have to show that they can be part of the group for the full 90 minutes.”

New York Red Bull II will start its season at Highmark Stadium against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on March 25.