1. Damien Perrinelle is back, almost
New York Red Bulls fans were surprised and elated when the news came down this afternoon that Damien Perrinelle would be back on the field in a Red Bulls uniform. Now, granted, that uniform was one of New York Red Bulls II, but the idea is the same nonetheless.
A few hours later and fans were less excited to see that Perrinelle was subbed out after only 35 minutes on the field. They shouldn't be.
Damien Perrinelle has spent close to three-quarters of a year out recovering from this knee injury. It is going to take him a little while to get back up to speed. Forcing him to go from zero to sixty upon coming back would only do way more harm than good. This was a rehab start. This is one of the many benefits of having a reserve team that plays competitive games in the USL. Perrinelle's appearance was designed to be a short one, meaning his exit before half time was planned. He hasn't re-aggravated anything, he isn't some huge step back in his rehabilitation, instead, he has taken a giant leap forward.
Damien Perrinelle is back, almost.
2. 'Speedy' Williams is MLS ready
Devon 'Speedy' Willams is a fine, fine player.
In fact, one could say 'Speedy' is the best player on New York Red Bulls II. An argument could be made for Derrick Etienne or Junior Flemmings, another argument could be made that Tyler Adams or Noah Powder have a greater potential. However, an argument can't be made that 'Speedy' is not MLS ready.
The man out of Kingston, Jamaica via Robert Morris has wowed USL audiences since the day he stepped on the field. He came into the NYRBII team mid-season last year and was immediately one of the better players on the field. As he's become comfortable in the team he's been able to show just what kind of player he is.
Williams is a great passer, capable of hitting a ball incredibly accurately both long and short. He's a positionally sound defensive midfielder, while capable of joining in the attack when the opportunity presents itself. He can shoot from distance, he has the engine to play in the high press. He's a great fit to act as a replacement for Dax or Felipe for the bench.
Speedy's MLS ready and the Red Bulls could use him this year as well as next.
3. NYRBII is one of the best in the league
Last year New York Red Bulls II often looked uncomfortable on the field. They often looked like a team of individuals, incohesive and unable to fully implement the tactics set before them. Occasionally they would be thoroughly outplayed and outmatched by the best USL had to offer.
This is the biggest change between the team this year and last. Now, the New York Red Bulls II never look intimidated or outmatched in a game. They can, and certainly have been, outplayed, but they are consistent with their style and are confident in their execution of it. They look like a team who know what they are all about and are more than capable of executing it.
Yesterday the high press directly led to two goals and almost led to a couple more. The system is well in place and it is certainly paying off.
With this in mind, the New York Red Bulls II have become one of the best team's in the USL. It shows in the table and it shows on the field. Tactically and technically NYRBII are superb at the USL level, and it's really starting to show.