On Saturday while the New York Red Bulls are at home against Real Salt Lake, NYRBII will be opening up their own season and their USL title defense on the road against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
News was relatively quiet on the USL roster front over the winter, in part because their roster would be determined by who would make the final cut on the senior team.
On Thursday afternoon, the Red Bulls announced the final 24-man roster, revealing that they were sending seven first-team players to their USL reserves on loan agreements for the 2017 season, including Brandon Allen, Arun Basuljevic, Dan Metzger, Hassan Ndam, Justin Bilyeu and Connor Lade. These players would be able to be recalled by the first team at any time, effectively bouncing back and forth between the two roster. Zeiko Lewis will join New York Red Bulls II for the entire season.
Several academy products are getting their chance to shine in the pros as well - Sam Ilin, Kevin O'Toole, Ben Mines and Zach Ryan. More academy players can be added to the roster at the team's discretion, though only four can play with the team at any one game.
The remaining 13 are all on USL contracts and will include returning stars like Florian Valot, Tim Schmoll, and Vincent Bezecourt.
Newcomers to the team will include the Red Bulls three 2017 MLS SuperDraft picks: Zeiko Lewis, Ethan Kutler and Jordan Scarlett.
Other recent signings are Rafi Diaz, Evan Louro, David Abidor, Andrew Lombard, and Andrew Tinari.
Here is the complete lineup for the NYRBII team.
Goalkeepers - Rafael Diaz, Sam Ilin, Evan Louro
Defenders - David Abidor, Justin Bilyeu, Ethan Kutler, Connor Lade, Andrew Lombard, David Najem, Hassan Ndam, Kevin O'Toole, Jordan Scarlett, Tim Schmoll, Andrew Tinari
Midfielders - Arun Basuljevic, Vincent Bezecourt, Zeiko Lewis, Dan Metzger, Ben Mines, Florian Valot
Forwards - Brandon Allen, Stefano Bonomo, Junior Flemmings, Zach Ryan
The surprise additions were Connor Lade and Justin Bilyeu - two defenders who figured to play important roles in the Red Bulls' already-compromised defensive depth.
Lade is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered against the LA Galaxy last season and was finally practicing with the first-team this past week.
Bilyeu has been Kemar Lawrence's backup at LB early this season, starting in place of the Jamaican back in his absence.
Arun Basuljevic, Dan Metzger, and Hassan N'dam were all signed to the Red Bulls first team during the winter transfer window, while Brandon Allen is returning to the team after claiming USL Rookie of the Year and USL Championship MVP honors during the club's treble-winning run in 2016.