Preview: NYRB II Hosts Surging Louisville

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Louisville City FC have quickly become the darlings of the USL. They are a new franchise with a strong and growing fan base that now has aspirations for MLS in the near future. On top of that, their team is in second place, guaranteed a playoff spot and has a forward who recently set the single-season USL scoring record.

Needless to say Louisville City FC has been a huge success in their first season.

New York Red Bull II haven’t been too bad themselves. Currently sitting in third place nine points off the pace from Louisville is New York, who have found success where few other MLS reserve teams haven’t in the Eastern Conference. Their single minded approach with the first team has led to confident performances, making them one of the more dangerous teams in the East and one that very few teams will hope to play.

This clash pitting second against third is the last time these two teams will meet this season. New York currently holds the advantage having beaten LCFC 2-0 at Slugger Field back in June. Both teams have momentum with LCFC scoring a major win over Harrisburg City in midweek and New York on a three game unbeaten streak.


Projected XI:

New York Red Bull II: Castano; McLaws, Da Fonte, Plewa, Heffron; Stolz, Adams, Williams, Obekop, Sanchez; Bonomo

Louisville City FC: Goodwin; Burke, Quinn, Morad, Fondy, Rasmussen, McCabe, Ilic, Reynolds, Abend, Montano

Previous Result: NYRB II scored a 2-0 victory over Louisville City FC at Louisville Slugger Stadium. Goals from Plewa (4′) and Etienne (50′)

Players to Watch: New York’s defense will have a tough time if they can’t stop Matt Fondy, the new single season goal scoring record holder. Not only does he have twenty-one goals this season but he has just come off a hat trick performance against Harrisburg City. Fondy has been, beyond a doubt, one of the most dynamic forwards in the USL this season. Da Fonte and Plewa will have their hands full trying to keep a motivated Fondy from finding the back of the net.


This game between New York and Louisville City may be a preview of a later round playoff match. New York is certainly looking to solidify their place in third and may have to make a trip to Slugger Stadium depending on where the results fall out at the end of the season. Both teams will be looking to assert their dominance in order gain an early psychological advantage over the other.

From an on-field standpoint, this game has the potential to be one of the best this weekend. Neither side is known for playing a withdrawn style so expect changes and maybe more goals than both teams will be comfortable with surrendering. Louisville City may have Matt Fondy to lead their line but New York has their own secret weapon in Stefano Bonomo. The young striker joined the team not too long about but has already scored twice in six appearances.

Added on top of the competition is the fact that this will be New York’s last home game of the season. Six of their eleven wins have come with home field advantage, while Louisville has tallied five of their fourteen wins on the road. Red Bull II will have a chance to steal some of Louisville’s thunder and make their own noise leading into the final two games of the season.