Red Bulls II announces several roster cuts, moves

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

The 2016 USL Champion New York Red Bulls II have made major roster moves, locking up key pieces to their Cup winning side — and making several changes as well.

In total NYRB II exercised their options on the contracts of six players including: Junior Flemmings, David Najem, Vincent Bezecourt, Aaron Long, Tim Schmoll and Florian Valot. All of these players were key pieces in New York’s run to the USL Championship and were talked about at great length as having potential for a move to MLS down the road. At the same time, the team allowed certain players to fall out of contract including: Stefano Bonomo, Dan Metzger, Rafael Diaz, Konrad Plewa and Devon Williams.

Zach Carroll and Zoumana Simpara have not had their options exercised.

Aaron Long and Vincent Bezecourt had, without a doubt, the most success at Red Bull II in 2016. Long finished the season as the USL Defender of the Year and broke through with the MLS Red Bull side for the CONCACAF Champions League. Bezecourt scored six goals in is first year with the team and two in the USL Cup Playoffs. All of this while missing a portion of the season due to a knee injury.

Much like last season, New York also made a significant number of cuts, with some names standing out as more surprising than others. Dan Metzger and Konrad Plewa are two of the more surprising names on the list. Metzger proved to be an asset in the midfield, especially alongside Tyler Adams in the later portion of the season. Konrad Plewa battled back through serious heart issues to not only return to the field, but score the game-winning penalty kick that defeated the Rochester Rhinos in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

New York Red Bull II is the USL reserve affiliate team of the MLS side New York Red Bulls and has serviced the team well thus far in grooming future talent. These moves prove that the plan will once again remain the same in 2017, as a mix of talented youngsters on the cusp of a potential MLS call-up will mix with academy players and prospective signings.