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Meeting Mael; New York Red Bulls II takes on the Wilmington Hammerheads

For just a second earlier this year, Mael Corboz was New York Red Bull, representing his hometown club. Now he'll face off against NYRBII tomorrow with the Wilmington Hammerheads

USA TODAY Sports

On December 23rd, the New York Red Bulls signed Mael Corboz. On February 29th, the New York Red Bulls waived the New Jersey native. Then, on March 1st, rumors emerged of a contract offer to Mael from NYRBII. Finally, on March 18th, Corboz signed with the Wilmington Hammerheads.

Did Corboz get a raw deal? Was he misled by the team? By his agent? Did Corboz ever consider the offer with NYRBII or was it just a symbolic gesture? Have bridges been burned? If so, which side lit the torch?

The questions surrounding the situation are numerous and unanswered, and they'll likely remain that way as long as Corboz continues to play professional soccer.

And now, instead of seeing Mael Corboz pinging passes inside Red Bull Arena, adding a more creative dimension to one of the most dominant midfields in the USL, fans will see him line up on the opposite side of the field this Friday down in Wilmington, North Carolina.

For a team that preaches self-reliance, building from within, and utilizing its academy, it's always bittersweet to see a local talent leave and succeed somewhere else. Ultimately, Corboz wasn't perfect for the Gegenpressing Red Bulls and so the two sides parted way. But, he remains a darn fine player, and his play in Wilmington is showing that. Whether it's Russell Canouse, Matt Olosunde, Amado Moreno, or Mael Corboz, it's always nice to see New York/New Jersey talent succeeding even after they part ways with the team.

If you're looking for a game with a clear storyline, between two top teams look no further than this Friday's matchup. On Friday night, the creative force will meet the constantly moving object as the Wilmington Hammerheads take on tNew York Red Bulls II .

Where:

Legion Stadium, Wilmington, North Carolina.

When:

7 pm Friday the 22nd.

How to watch:

As per usual, the game will be available to watch for free on Youtube. Link.

Predicted starting XI's:

NYRBII- As per usual, loanees will determine NYRBII's final lineup. At least Justin Bilyeu and Zach Carroll are down in North Carolina, but the severity of Ryan Meara's injury remains unknown.

Rafa Diaz; Justin Bilyeu, Tim Schmoll, Zach Carroll, Aaron Long; Tyler Adams, Devon 'Speedy' Williams; Derrick Etienne, Stefano Bonomo, Junior Flemmings; Brandon Allen

Wilmington Hammerheads- Not going to claim I know anything here. My guess is Mael Corboz and 10 other guys

John Smits; Wilmington defense; Wilmington midfield; Mael Corboz; Wilmington Strikers

Predicted scoreline:

3-1 NYRBII will bounce back from last week's tie with goals from Konrad Plewa (sub) and Brandon Allen x2