Preview: NYRB II Play Montreal with Huge Momentum

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bull II take their nine game unbeaten streak and unbeaten away record on the road to Montreal at the Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard this weekend. The continued success of Louisville City FC has New York needing points to keep the gap to first place manageable. Winning against a weaker side like Montreal is key to that game plan.

New York has a winning record against Montreal in USL play with a record of 2-1-1 dating back to last season. This year, Red Bull II won a highly entertaining game against Montreal 1-0 where the goals could have been flowing if not for fantastic goalkeeping.

Expect another fast-paced game between two of the youngest sides in the USL — with a lot to play for.


STARTING XI:

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

FC Montreal: Crepeau; Mkungilwa, Meilleur, Charbonneau, Sukunda; Gargon, Tabla, Kacher, Lincourt, Porter; Jackson-Hamel

Player to Watch: Derrick Etienne Jr. John Wolyniec’s side is beginning to experiment week to week with where Etienne sits on the field. He has been most effective on the left side as a winger, cutting through defenses and providing space for his teammates. However, we’ve saw him in a more central role this week and could see him there again depending on the team’s formation. Either way, Derrick leads the assault offensively as his level of play has been a key contributor to New York’s fantastic run of form over this nine-game stretch.

X-Factor: Coaching. John Wolyniec’s second year as a professional head coach has seen him blossom into one of the league’s finest gaffers. The team has a pristine road record with no losses and one draw. They also have a league high 10 clean sheets with only eight goals allowed all season. Wolyniec’s use of formation changes mid-game has also had an effect on the opposition and is just another sign of NYRB II’s success in their mission of developing not just future players but also future first team coaches as well.


FC Montreal is currently the worst team in the USL, having not cracked ten points after sixteen games. Defensively they’ve allowed the second most goals in the Eastern Conference and scored the fewest. The team is incredibly young but they have been unable to put anything together for prolonged periods of time to see even the most modest of progress as a team.

New York should be heavily favored to take this game. Putting the nine-game unbeaten streak aside, the team is a well-oiled defensive machine. They have only allowed two goals in their last seven games and that form has given their offense a reprieve — even when they aren’t necessarily putting the ball in the net. Last week’s game against Rochester only galvanized the side, who survived moments of bombardment from Rochester and emerged unscathed.

With another win, New York would draw closer to even with Louisville City who still has two games in hand. Every point is essential as the late July fixtures become extremely condensed. A win against Montreal will be important, especially with an Eastern Conference divisional championship becoming a real possibility.

Kickoff time is set for 3PM

 


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