Preview: NYRB II Look to Rebound in Harrisburg

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bull II will look to regain their momentum on a three day turnaround and play the Harrisburg City Islanders on Tuesday night at Skyline Sports Complex.

New York is currently on a two game losing stretch — their first of the season — and suffered their first road loss of the season after a stoppage time goal in Richmond this past Saturday night. Despite the losses, NYRB II still remain just one point back of Louisville City FC for first place in the Eastern Conference. This will be the second time the teams have met this season with New York grabbing a 1-0 victory at Red Bull Arena back on June 9th.


PROJECTED STARTING XI:

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

Harrisburg City Islanders: Broome; Thomas, Doyle, Leverock, McLaws; Benbow, Bolduc, Warshaw, Dabo; Barril, Pettis

Player to Watch: Vincent Bezecourt will be an important player in this quick turnaround for New York Red Bull II. The dynamic midfielder will need to fill in gaps for either Valot or Etienne Jr. if they are not able to play on Tuesday night. He has shown flashes of strong play this season since returning from injury and may float between the wing and central attacking position to disrupt the City Islanders’ 4-4-2 formation.

X-Factor: No losing streak. NYRB II is looking to avoid their first true losing streak of the season against Harrisburg after dropping games against Charleston and Richmond. Not only is it important for the standings but the team has built a strong confidence base through the first half of the season — one that could suffer if they drop this result. John Wolyniec and his staff have prided themselves on building a competitive USL outfit and will look to turn things around this coming week.


Harrisburg is not necessarily elite competition in the USL. They are currently 6-13-3 with only 21 points combined this season. That leaves them just third from the bottom in the Eastern Conference. The team has also allowed 39 goals this season, leaving them as the third worst defense in the entire league. Most recently, they were winless in nine straight games but rebounded with two wins and a draw in the past three weeks.

New York should be heavily favored in this game even with the quick turnaround. Expect John Wolyniec to lean heavily on the five substitutions available to him under the USL rules and for the team to amend some of their defensive frailties in previous games. The schedule has been the biggest enemy for NYRB II but they have pulled past the toughest portion and should have a fairer shake in the coming weeks.