This weekend, New York Red Bulls II will enter into the City Stadium down in Richmond, Virginia having lost their prior game. After a twelve game undefeated run, compiling a record of 9-0-3 and charging up the table to second place in the USL, NYRBII has come back down to earth, at least for the moment. Meanwhile, the Richmond Kickers enter the game on a three-game win streak. How the turntables have turned, in the words of a famous Scrantonite.
Coming into this game to rebound from their last loss New York Red Bulls II need to return to their fundamentals. Instead of attempting to the be dominant, dynamic team that they are capable of, they should return to the ever solid, defensive stalwart that has gotten them to second place in the table.
The leader of the second best defence in the USL, Aaron Long, did not travel with the team as he appears to be set for Concacaf Champions League action with the first team. With Cheikh M'baye recent release, the responsibility will fall to Konrad Plewa, Zach Carroll, and Tim Schmoll to hold down the center of defence. Additionally, according to Kristian Dyer, Derrick Etienne and Tyler Adams will be on minutes restrictions this weekend. Both coming off appearances in the MLS Homegrown game this past Wednesday and with CCL coming up next week, it is likely both could be set for first team minutes soon.
With all these factors in mind, it is easy to see why NYRBII don't need to look to set the world on fire in their game against Richmond. New York Red Bulls II don't need to announce themselves to the USL, they do not need to prove a point to anyone. NYRBII evolved from a middle of the pack playoff contender to one of the most dominant teams in USL not by trying to outrun and outgun everyone else, but by building a solid foundation in the back and moving forward from there. This weekend against Scott Thomsen and the Richmond Kickers, it is time for New York Red Bulls II to look to their fundamentals to put together a solid, but altogether unspectacular performance to return to form and get the train back on track.
7:00 pm, Saturday, July 30th.
City Stadium, Richmond, Virginia.
How to watch:
Watch this game for free, online on the USL's youtube page or here.
Predicted starting XI's:
New York Red Bulls II-
Ryan Meara; David Najem, Tim Schmoll, Zach Carroll, Konrad Plewa; Dan Metzger, Tyler Adams, Derrick Etienne, Vincent Bezecourt, Junior Flemmings; Brandon Allen
Turner; Troyer, Durkin, Roberts, Mishu; Owusu, Asante, Aguilar, Jane; Imura, Grant
1-1 Richmond is hot, New York is recovering from only its second loss of the season, while Aaron Long won't travel with the team and Derrick Etienne and Tyler Adams will be on minute caps. Could be a difficult one for the team.