While Major League Soccer is getting ready to restart their season on July 8th, the lower leagues are preparing to return to action as well. the United Soccer League announced last week their new format to restart their 2020 campaign with eight regional groups to limit travel. Red Bulls II are ready to get back to work after being drawn in Group F along with Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United, Philadelphia Union II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
“I think first and foremost, we are just happy to play games. When you have a bunch of young professionals, you got to prove what they can do.” said RB2 head coach John Wolyniec “We are just happy we are going to get some games in and I think the league’s going to do the best they can to make sure that they put the players in a safe scenario, but also a scenario in what they are use to as far as being competitive and looking to get better.
“Again, we are really happy that there are going to be games played and we are going to make the most of them each and every week. Obviously, its been a tough year, but I think when we start playing games things will start to feel back to what we are use to doing as players and coaches.
We are going to make the most of every game possible and we will do everything we can to make them feel as real as possible. Hopefully, I am doing enough to prepare them in a relatively short timeframe to be able to give their best in these games. I think once we step on the field, we are all going to be excited and happy to be get that feeling of being in a competition and playing against another team and doing the thing that we love.”
Each team will play twelve games over thirteen weeks within the group, while the opponents for four remaining games will be determined at a later date. The only exception to this will be towards the San Diego Loyal and Tacoma Defiance who have played two games before the suspension of the season.
There will be eight games at home and eight games on the road till we get to the beginning of October where the playoffs will begin. Instead of the new format that was supposed to be used, the league has returned to a traditional sixteen-team playoff structure, with the top two sides in each group will qualify for the playoffs.
“We are very excited to get the season back up and running. There was a lot of uncertainty about the season, so we’re glad we finally know when we’ll be able to start playing.” said Kyle Zajac “Our goals won’t change even with a new league structure in place.
“In fact, I’d say one of our goals is to not let the new league structure impact us. We’ll strive to finish in the top spot in our division and as always, our goal is to lift a trophy at the end of the season. We all want to make the most of this opportunity.”