Preview: NYRB II Welcomes Battery to a New Home

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED
USL Beat Writer

New York Red Bull II begin a new stage of their USL development as they welcome the Charleston Battery to Columbia University’s Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium in uptown Manhattan. Both teams are coming off of a loss with New York in position to seek the win just a bit more than Charleston. A win in their new home could be the lift John Wolyniec and his team needs to turn around what has been a lackluster start to their first USL campaign.


Projected XI:

New York Red Bull II: Castano; McLaws, Jean-Baptiste, Da Fonte, Wallace; Metzger, Etienne, Plewa; Sanchez, Tsonis, Obekop

Charleston Battery: Cooper; Mueller, Ferguson, Woodbine, Adjetey, Chang, van Shaik, Portillo, Prince; Kelly, Cordoves

Last Encounter: 1-1 Draw in Charleston

Battle to Watch: Manolo Sanchez vs. Charleston backline. Recent weeks has seen Manolo Sanchez improve by leaps and bounds. The first few weeks the forward held the ball and played the role of playmaker but has blossomed into a goal scoring threat with a goal in the team’s last win against Pittsburgh.

X-Factor: Leo Stolz red card against Harrisburg City last week will keep him out of this fixture. The much maligned midfielder has had trouble adjusting to the Red Bull high pressure system but was strong in the defensive midfield role. This will be the first game where Stolz isn’t a starter and Charleston will certainly look to exploit that position as a weakness.


New Home to Play a Factor

Columbia University will be a bit of an x-factor. Neither team has played a league game on the field and despite similarities in size to Red Bull Arena, there will be a learning curve for the home team when it comes to bounces and instinctual plays. The proximity to subway lines will certainly make it more accessible to local fans but the late start time may prove to have similar crowd size to what the team is already accustomed to.

Charleston’s First Loss is Deceiving

Wins are wins and losses are losses but the factors can sometimes make results appear different than what they actually are. Last week’s loss at FC Montreal saw Charleston have to leave six healthy players at home as they couldn’t cross the border. Those players will more than likely return to give the Battery their full accompaniment headed into their second meeting against New York.

Charleston still has a high powered offense, having scored the third most goals in the league. New York was able to neutralize them in their last game but the team will certainly come out looking for blood in Manhattan to try and prove that last week’s loss was a fluke.