Marius Obekop opened the score early and Konrad Plewa added a brace in a 4-1 win during which the New York Red Bulls II never trailed, earning three points on the road against St. Louis FC.
The result was the third straight road victory for the club, who now have gone 3-1-1 in 5 matches out of a 6-match road trip. NYRB II is now 6-4-5 on the season, and sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
As usual, it's important to remember that results don't matter, but when they go our way it's an added bonus.
Leo Stolz set up Marius Obekop in the 8th minute for the Cameroonian's second USL goal of the year. There were questions where the young winger/striker was earlier this week, so it is great to see Obekop starting, scoring, and playing the first 45 minutes of the match.
Obekop was subbed for Konrad Plewa at the half, who scored a brace in the second half to help NYRB II take over the match. Plewa blasted a volley past the St. Louis keeper in the 56th minute to double the Red Bulls lead. St. Louis immediately responded in the 59th minute and continued to press for an equalizer. However, Franklin Castellanos scored late in the half to put the Baby Bulls up 3-1, before Plewa scored on the edge of stoppage time to put the match away.
It was a back and forth match with a few flare ups, but the referee kept things under control. St. Louis made things interesting after they scored, but the Baby Bulls were able to weather the storm and kill off the match by breaking out on the counter.
No academy players featured in this match, as the Red Bulls U18 and U16 teams played on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at the 2015 Developmental Academy Showcase. The USL squad was bolstered by MLS loanees Santiago Castano, Shawn McLaws, Leo Stolz, and Anthony Wallace.
STARTING XI vs. @SaintLouisFC: Castano, Thomas, McLaws, Da Fonte, Wallace, Metzger, Adams, Stolz, Bedoya, Tsonis, Obekop #STLvNY #NYRBII— NYRB II (@NYRBII) June 27, 2015
BENCH vs. @SaintLouisFC: Diaz, Akinyode, Manosalvas, Plewa, Clay, Castellanos #STLvNY #NYRBII— NYRB II (@NYRBII) June 27, 2015
So... how about Konrad Plewa? The versatile defender/midfielder won USL Player of the Week last week and followed it up with a second half brace this week. The former Academy player spent four years at Seton Hall and has emerged as quite the player for New York Red Bulls II. I don't think his future is as a center back, he doesn't pass my eye test. But as a center mid, as a six or possibly even a physical eight? He could be a solid depth player in Major League Soccer. Maybe next year, maybe the year after, but if Plewa keeps putting in performances like this, he'll be getting his shot in the big show.
Good work, Woly
After a rough start, this team is really starting to come together. They're in the playoff picture and playing some mildly attractive soccer. After going up two goals, manager John Wolyniec recognized that St. Louis would start attacking desperately and adjusted his strategy accordingly. He made his defense more compact, subbed on the fast, dynamic Franklin Castellanos, and had his team focus on counter attacking which yielded two goals.
This six-match road trip was supposed to be difficult and possibly push the Baby Bulls to the bottom of the standings, but through good coaching and strong players, they've turned it into a nice run up the table.
Decent midfield trio
Dan Metzger, Leo Stolz, and Tyler Adams form quite the cerberus for New York Red Bulls II. Metzger is an absolute Luca Brasi in front of the backline, snuffing out attacks. Stolz is starting to become the attacker and set up man that was promised after he was draft. And Adams? He's 16-years-old. I'm impressed he even manages to find his way onto the plane, let alone constantly harass players who are ten years older than him.
- Charles Renken plays for St. Louis FC. He was on his way to being the best player in US soccer history (seriously), but injuries, man. Injuries.
- Franklin Castellanos displayed the speed and explosiveness that scouts have been noticing for years. Instead of forcing a pass, he used a little bit of creativity to make the opposing keeper look foolish and scored a very nice goal.
- I love watching breakaways. This team has a lot of them. They're a fun group of young attackers. They blow quite a few of them, but it's pretty nice when they finish.
I believe St. Louis fans just broke out in a "You Can't Do That!" chant after a #NYRBII foul. Too harsh!— Once A Metro (@Once_A_Metro) June 28, 2015