Preview: NYRB II Look to Conquer Rochester on the Road

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bull II travel to Upstate New York to play the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday afternoon in a game that could galvanize the team’s first real rivalry.

Rochester and New York have had a nullifying effect on each other this season with two games and two scoreless draws. Both games were played at Red Bull Arena but this time the setting changes to Rhinos Stadium where NYRB II was been surprisingly uneffective in their history. New York is 0-3 at Rochester counting their playoff game last season in Rochester.


PROJECTED STARTING XI:

New York Red Bull II: Meara; Long, Carroll, Schmoll, Plewa; Metzger, Williams, Bezecourt; Etienne Jr., Valot, Allen

Rochester Rhinos: Gomez; Kamdem, Apostolopoulous, James, Farrell; Forbes, Garzi, Fall, Tergou; Volesky, Dos Santos

Player to Watch: Vincent Bezecourt. Despite having his season cut short due to injury earlier in the campaign, Bezecourt has returned to be the offensive threat New York has needed, given the injury to Junior Flemmings. The midfielder has had four goals and two assists throughout his campaign and John Wolyniec will hope that he can be the game changer against Rochester that his side has been looking for.

X-Factor: Pride will be a major motivator for NYRB II. The team has locked up the USL Regular Season Championship but play a team that they have yet to beat since their inception in 2015. Rochester could be a team that New York will need to conquer in the playoffs and if they can figure out a way to win on Saturday afternoon, it will give them confidence heading into the playoffs.

Where to Watch: YouTube at 5:05PM on 9/10


New York Red Bull II have little to play for given that they have locked in the USL Regular Season Championship. However, Rochester is a potential playoff opponent and one that NYRB II has yet to conquer. In many ways John Wolyniec will be looking for answers to Bob Lily’s tough defensive posture. Rochester has not been as effective this year as in 2015 in delivering results but they are still one of the better defensive teams in the USL.

Rochester is the team that will be needing the point as they are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. a win and they could potentially jump three spots and see a chance at hosting a playoff game. The motivation will certainly be with the home side but whether that opens up Rochester’s usual defensive strategy remains to be seen.

New York Red Bull II has been the best defensive team in the USL and have had the best road record in the league thus far. They have only dropped one game on the road and pose a serious threat to Rochester’s improving playoff hopes.