Preview: NYRB II Look to Rebound in Charlotte Rematch

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
USL Writer

For the second straight week, New York Red Bull II will play a Wednesday night game against the Charlotte Independence with a chance to regain momentum lost after a defeat in Wilmington. NYRB II looked tired and uninspired on a hot day in Wilmington as the Hammerheads recorded their first home win of the season. It was New York’s third game in seven days, giving them one of the toughest stretches of the season.

Despite gaining a good run of form, New York is still looking for the right defensive pairing. Konrad Plewa will not be available due to a red card suspension and Colin Heffron may be unavailable due to a shoulder injury sustained during Saturday’s game in North Carolina. Furthermore, Charlotte is one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment, having upset the Rochester Rhinos and going undefeated in their last four games.


Projected XI:

New York Red Bull II: Castano; Thomas, Akinyode, Da Fonte, Wallace; Stolz, Williams, Bedoya; Castellanos, Obekop, Tsonis

Charlotte Independence: Lampson; Jerome, Slogic, Riberio, Newnam, Duckett, Jackson, Martinez, Badji, Del Piccolo, Alvarez

Previous Result: 2-2 draw at the Red Bull Training Facility on Aug. 5th, 2015. Goals by Franklin Castellanos and Leo Stolz for New York. Dominique Badji with two for Charlotte.

Player to Watch: Marius Obekop has been a solid player for NYRB II all season long but he has been particularly deadly as a forward of late. More times than not, the natural winger will slide out wide to the left and feed the ball into any of his teammates making a run but in the past few games he has been the one looking for opportunities. His goal against Wilmington was his fourth of the season, bringing him to within one of Chris Tsonis for the team lead. If New York is to gain a firm hold of the game on the scoreline, the work of Obekop will be essential as both a distributor and a goalscoring threat.

X-Factor: Charlotte is a team on a mission. Sitting just seven points out of the final playoff spot, their four game unbeaten streak is something that New York will have to take under serious consideration. In that stretch they’ve grabbed two clean sheets and scored more than one goal in all but one of those games. NYRB II will need to be defensively sound in order to break down a surging Charlotte team.


The roles have been slightly reversed of late for NYRB II. At the start of the season, it was the offense that just couldn’t get going. Ball possession and stout defense was there but the team lacked a hard punch on offense. Now Chris Tsonis and Marius Obekop have found their goalscoring legs. Stefano Bonomo has also looked extremely tough in front but he may be nursing an injury that will keep him out of the line up.

Much of the team’s recent form may also be due to a hectic schedule. Three game in seven days is enough to make any defense a bit lethargic. However, their playoff hopes have only a four point cushion that could disappear quickly should results go south. With more than a week off on the horizon, the team will want to go into that rest period with a “W” in the win column and positive energy in the locker room.

 

  • slowleftarm

    What’s the deal with Tyler Adams? He hasn’t played for RBNY II in a few weeks. Injured?