For the first time since 2016, New York Red Bulls II finally got a win over their pesky rivals, Bethlehem Steel. It was Amando Moreno’s solo effort in the 78th minute that made it 2-1 securing three points for the Baby Bulls. Though, the first goal of the night came in the 28th minute from Derrick Etienne Jr off an assist from Brian White. And while Moreno is having a breakout year with a team-high 9 goals, so too is Brian White with 7 goals and 5 assists.

Brian White’s Impact in Red Bulls II win over Bethlehem Steel

With the 16th overall pick in the MLS Superdraft, the Red Bulls selected White who played four years at Duke and won PDL MVP with the Red Bulls U-23’s in 2017. White is an intriguing prospect for the Red Bulls because of his diverse set of skills that allows him to play striker and winger. Against Bethlehem Steel, White needed to play with his back to goal and use his body to set up his teammates. Etienne’s opening goal showcases this skill perfectly.

Post-game when asked about White’s play on the ball, Head Coach John Wolyniec showed admiration as a former striker himself.

…we don’t play with a target forward so to speak ,there are times where you got to put your body in and hold the ball and find a way to connect. To be honest that’s a part of his game I didn’t recognize before he got here, and early in the season whether he’s added that or he’s always had it, it’s certainly helps us and it’s one of those things I used to value as a player so I see it. Maybe a little disappointed to not see it earlier, but I see it now, I hope his teammates recognize it, he has a good sense of using his body, creating some space, using the ball and connecting as well with his teammates so that piece is pretty good.

Off the ball, White’s movement bodes well for his teammates and the overall system as well. White tends to drop back creating a numerical advantage in the center of midfield which allows Andrew Tinari space to create and Cristian Casseres freedom to make forward runs. That movement in the middle also helps wingers to make diagonal runs in behind the defense or get into positions to take on outside backs 1 v 1. 

This Saturday, Brian White and the Red Bulls will look to make it 4 wins in a row against Cincinnati FC. Cincinnati have not lost a USL match since May 26th and will pose another challenge for NYRBII at a packed Nippert Stadium.

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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