The Pittsburgh Riverhounds were bad at soccer when NYRBII met them in Pittsburgh two weekends ago as New York came off its first loss of the season. They are now worse at soccer due to events that occurred during that game, but let us not get into that.
FC Montreal is worse than the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, much worse. They sit at last in the table with no wins, just three goals, and tied for worst goal differential in the league at minus eight.
Again, if New York Red Bulls II is as good as they are claiming to be then this game should not be a problem.
Montreal was similarly bad last year, and while this sort of play is not conducive to a perfect developmental situation, the Montreal Impact certainly take a different outlook to their USL team than most MLS clubs. Instead of trying to balance development with immediate competitiveness, fielding a squad of youngish players in their 20s and a few teenagers, FC Montreal takes the long view. Both year's they have had one of the youngest squads in the USL, this year presenting a roster with 11 players under 20 and the oldest only 22. The players are outmatched physically and technically in the USL due to circumstances outside of their control, most namely time, and so their record is bound to occur. Though not a perfect system, it certainly does present a true alternative approach to developing players. In five years, FC Montreal may be the best team in the USL with numerous players moving on to MLS and abroad, but that's merely a hypothetical. Despite their record, nothing is going wrong in Montreal, at least not the level it appears to be.
One player of to keep an eye on tomorrow is FC Montreal's 17 year-old midfielder, Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla. The Canadian youth international has played five games for FC Montreal this year and has recently been linked with a move to England, with Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City all tracking him.
In terms of NYRBII, the team enters the weekend with two new players on its roster, both familiar faces. David Najem and Zach Carroll join the team, the former being an academy product while the latter was New York's 2016 2nd round draft pick. Loanees will likely be in short supply, but the USL core of Williams, Flemmings, Metzger, Plewa, and Bonomo should provide more than enough to get the job done.
3 pm Saturday the 21st.
Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard, Montreal, Canada.
How to watch:
As always, check out USL's youtube or NewYorkRedBulls.com/live.
Predicted starting XI's:
NYRBII- Karl Ouimette's suspended, but new signings David Najem and Zach Carroll are likely ready to play, even if it is just off the bench. Ryan Meara returned last week against Richmond and will likely be in net again this week in Montreal. M'baye has been getting more time recently and don't be surprised to see Simpara get time off the bench. As the game is away and with the NYCFC coming up this weekend, fewer first team loanees will be available.
Ryan Meara; Aaron Long, Zach Carroll, Cheikh M'Baye, Konrad Plewa; Tyler Adams, Devon 'Speedy' Williams; Derrick Etienne, David Najem, Junior Flemmings; Brandon Allen
FC Montreal- FC Montreal is young, with their oldest player on their roster being 22. Due to the different developmental style employed by Montreal the lineup is constantly shifting so as to get everyone plenty of time, thus it is unpredictable.
Pantemis; Charbonneau, Muilleur, Fisher, Lemire; Dominguez, Kacher, Choiniére, Tabla, Riggi; Morelli
4-0 New York with goals from Allen x2, Flemmings, and Carroll.