After an amazing performance against a good Charleston Battery side that the Red Bulls 2 team blitzed on and earned a clean sheet down in Little London and now will face another tough test in the Tampba Rowdies.
The side that plays in Al Lang Stadium has been a very difficult side to take on since coming over from the NASL. Playing at the former Minor League & Spring Training baseball stadium turned Soccer ground, this side is loaded with solid talent from top to bottom.
“Their a good team. They have a lot of good players on that team. Their an experienced team and they certainly present a lot of challenges.” said John Wolyniec, “In that sense and they are organized and work hard, there are some good attacking pieces we need to handle.
But we’ve shown that we are a confident group and our young guys are going to handle some of their veteran players. We are a confident group right now.”
Georgi Hristov is the Rowdies top finisher when he gets the ball on his feet, a major issue for the backline when they will face a top notch goal scorer from the man who converted fourteen times. Martin Paterson finished with nine.
“He’s a good forward and smart. Has a good right foot and can strike the ball from distance, he’s pretty good on set pieces and smart in the box.” said Wolyniec, “ He can hurt you in a different bunch of ways, so we need to deal with him.”
The goal keeper is always going to be a tough when you present challenges towards him and Matt Pickens is no slouch either. The former Colorado Rapids keeper has always been a top notch keeper and has done well for the Rowdies.
“First and foremost his experience, smart guy, knows the game, doesn’t get flustered. We are going to have to put good plays together to get one by him.” said Wolyniec, “They present a lot of challenges, because they are a good team. But we feel we are good at where we are.”
But obviously the one player who may have slowed down a bit, but still shows his technical ability is still top notch is the former England International Joe Cole, who has scored some amazing goals in his time with the Rowdies both in NASL & USL when he scored that amazing Bicycle kick against Puerto Rico FC.
“It’s an advantage for them and the reason why the team is doing well, he is a great player and those little ins and outs of the game.” Said Wolyniec, “Hopefully we can just have a good game against him and them.
Try to make it as difficult as possible and we have a lot of young guys ready to face them and be alert and identify him when he has the ball so our guys don’t fall asleep against him.”
The confidence has really been growing for this Red Bulls II side since the last two months of the season and one of those players who has been doing very well for the club is Floriant Valot.
“We started playing better and a verbal style, getting really good results. Bwwen building since the past two months and we did pretty good in Charleston beating them four nothing.” said Valot.
“Last year during the season we were always confident, nothing wrong was going to happen after these games. But now we need to get ready against some experienced players like (Walter) Restrepo and Joe Cole, we won’t be scared of them.”
And now it’s time to see if this Red Bulls II side will do the deed this coming Weekend as they will head down to the Tampa/St. Pete area and take on an experienced Tampa Bay Rowdies side and try to advance to their second consecutive USL Eastern Conference Final.