New York Red Bulls II manager John Wolyniec fielded a much different lineup for his team’s 3-0 win over St. John’s Men’s Soccer than he had put out for the mid-week tie with Harrisburg City Islanders.
Players such as Dan Metzger, Justin Bilyeu, Florian Valot, and Vincent Bezecourt remained, but Red Bulls SuperDraft pick Zeiko Lewis and trialists Bradley Nestor and Brett Nason were given starts as many of the first-teamers present earlier in the week were called away to be part of the match-day squad for RBNY’s MLS match later the same day.
Despite the changes made NYRB II was held scoreless in the first half.
It didn’t take the team long to find an opening in the 2nd half. Wolyniec subbed on Arun Basuljevic and trialist Lucas Terci for Metzger and Nestor.
Terci made an immediate impact and his backheel set up Vincent Bezecourt to give the team a 1-0 lead.
The team made a few more changes towards the end of the 2nd half as three more trialists were brought on, including Jake Freeman who came on for Terci in the 83rd minute.
Wolyniec’s side added a pair of goals late on courtesy of Lewis and Basuljevic and earned the NYRBII the 3-0 win.
Unlike the last friendly which was used to give time to several first-teamers time on the field, Wolyniec had the chance to further explore options for his USL squad. Rafa Diaz and Evan Louro - both recently cut from the MLS roster - each got a half in goal. And there were two unnamed trialists used in the game. Two named trialists - Brett Nason and Andrew Tinari - played the full 90, as did SuperDraft pick Lewis. The Bermudian has been loaned down to reserves for the entire 2017 season, and should be expected to see a lot of playing time as Wolyniec seeks to get the young prospect acquainted with RBNY’s tactical approach.
NYRB II’s final preseason game is against Bethlehem Steel on March 18. It will be interesting to see if more trialists feature, or if the squad starts to take a recognizable shape as the team starts to focus on getting its USL season underway.
Either way the season gets under way in two weeks and Wolyniec will want to know all of the options he has at his disposal for opening day sooner rather than later.