Preview: NYRB II Host Lowly Pittsburgh in Potential Trap Game

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bull II will host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night as part of a back-to-back doubleheader with New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. The game will have a late start time of 10PM and plans to be an interesting meeting, especially since its the first since the now infamous incident with Karl Ouimette and Romeo Parkes.

Since that fateful night three weeks ago, the Riverhounds have gone through tremendous upheaval. They terminated their leading goalscorer Romeo Parkes following the violent outburst and even parted ways with head coach Mark Steffens.

Saturday night’s game will be new head coach Dave Brandt’s first time at the helm as he hopes to turn around what has already been a dismal year for Pittsburgh.


STARTING XI:

New York Red Bull II: Meara; Bilyeu, Carroll, Long, Plewa; Adams, Williams, Flemmings, Etienne Jr.; Abang, Allen

Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Vargas; Murrell, Green, Campbell, Hunt; Smith, Okai, Kerr, Ewart, Bissue; Moloto

X-Factor: Red Bull Arena has not been kind to NYRB II this year and their level of play at home could be a key factor. The game against the Riverhounds stands as a bit of a trap game with potential for New York to be a bit overconfident. This season, the team only has one win at home but a livelier crowd staying out for the game should provide some extra motivation for the home side.

Player to Watch: Konrad Plewa. The midfielder seems to have found a home this year at right back. He provided fantastic service to Junior Flemmings for the game-winning goal last Saturday against FC Montreal. Plewa has been a jack of all trades since joining the team last season but right back appears to be where his talents are best suited. He and Justin Bilyeu could give New York an extra edge against a very lackluster defense.


Make no mistake about it, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have been bad this season. Last week they garnered their first win of the season but still have only managed six points out of their first eight games.

The stunning part is how atrocious their defense has been. The Riverhounds have allowed the third most goals in the Eastern Conference. New York should be able to dominate a woeful defense and push back an offense with little teeth.

As for New York, it is all about maintaining focus. The team does have motivation in their need to improve their home form. However, they currently sit in second place having enjoyed a fantastic run of form on the road. This season the team is also the best in the league defensively and conceded the fewest goals across both conferences. Expect New York to be the heavy favorites tonight with Pittsburgh looking to play a serious spoiler to NYRB II’s ascension to the top of the East.

This game, like all USL regular season games, will be live on YouTube.