Preview: Resurgent FC Montreal Travels to Red Bull Arena

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Hey by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bull II will host a white-hot FC Montreal on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena, hoping to maintain momentum for the impending USL playoffs.

FC Montreal has been one of the most consistent teams in USL since August, racking up an impressive 5-3-1 record over that time. They have also found their scoring legs with multiple goals in each of their five wins. New York will need to look past Montreal’s overall record to see a team that could produce an upset away from home this Saturday.


PROJECTED STARTING XI:

New York Red Bull II: Meara; O’Toole, Carroll, Schmoll, Powder; Metzger, Williams, Bezecourt; Bonomo, Etienne Jr., Allen

FC Montreal: Paulmin; Mkungilwa, Meilleur-Giguere, Fisher, Charbonneau, Yoseke, Gagnon-Lapare, Choiniere, Jarras, Ait Slimane, Jackson-Hamel

Player to Watch: Stefano Bonomo has returned to the line-up in a seemingly regular role and could be instrumental given Junior Flemmings’ season ending injury. Bonomo sat out for nearly a month with a suspsension following a red card against Charleston Battery but has found his groove with the team since returning. His role as a playmaker seems to fit him more than the out-and-out striker and his passing to team-leading goalscorer Brandon Allen has been superb.

X-Factor: Motivation. New York has very little to play for as they see out the rest of the season. FC Montreal can potentially steal a win as they look towards gaining their own traction for 2017. John Wolyniec will try his best to keep his team focused on the task at hand. However, the playoffs are right around the corner and he will surely look to keep key players healthy before the end of the regular season.


New York Red Bull II have produced one of the all-time best lower division performances this season and look to continue against Montreal. While they are rewriting the record books, John Wolyniec and his side are fully aware that the USL Championship is the overall goal. FC Montreal, has a different goal in mind, simply looking to continue the development of star striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel.

Jackson-Hamel has scored nine goals this season and has become a breakout star in the Eastern Conference. The 23 year-old Canadian international has played 17 games with the Montreal Impact since 2014 but found his stride with the USL team. New York will need to shut down his offensive production should they hope to stall the surging French-Canadian side.