New York Red Bulls II mid-season grades: Goalkeepers and Defenders

Evan Louro

Joe Goldstein- Rating: B+ Louro still has room to grow. He is prone to parrying saves back into traffic occasionally, and doesn’t always have the best positional sense. Still, Louro is an athletic shot stopper capable of rising to the occasion. This season he saved the team dropped points a number of times.

Liam Pettit- Rating: B Louro has been consistent in goal despite NYRBII’s defensive woes. The team isn’t the same when he’s not on the field bringing his leadership to the defense. He needs to keep his head and not have another incident like that against Richmond.

OVERALL RATING: B

Scott Levene

Roy Emanuel- Rating: C Behind Evan Louro (and sometimes Ryan Meara as well), Scott Levene has only started three games in 2018. Manager John Wolyniec will likely not be using him often this year unless injuries become an issue.

Bill Twomey- Rating: B Scott has stepped up when he’s been in need. It’s been unfortunate that RB2 have lost the majority of games that Levene has started. Although he cannot be blamed for goals scored, as they weren’t all his fault. I think we’ll see more of Levene in the future.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Hassan Ndam

Joe Goldstein- Rating: B Ndam is the most Jekyll and Hyde player on the team. So far, his good performances this year have outweighed the bad, but it is difficult to predict which Ndam is taking the field. He commands the box well, utilizing his size and soccer IQ, but he gets caught in missed tackles up-field, creating chaos on the backline. Ndam has the tools, he just needs to stay focused for 90 minutes.

Gary Redman- Rating: B+ Hassan is looking more and more like a first-team candidate. His goal vs. FCC Cincinnati notwithstanding, his defensive presence give a team a solid backline that can challenge the best in the league. Him eventually winding up on the first team roster isn’t a matter of if, but when.

OVERALL RATING: B

Kevin Politz

Gary Redman- Rating: B Like Ndam, Kevin has seen his time on the first team enough to warrant a second look by the coaching staff. Smooth and balanced on the ball, he can be a force to reckon with down the road, only hiccup, tends to get beat on the offside trap on the wings by pacier attackers. But that will improve down the road.

Bill Twomey- Rating: B Although we have not seen Politz start recently, he has 8 starts so far this season and a total of 10 games played. Politz has looked good on the field, but will need to step up in order to get back in the starting 11. NYRBII has on going battle right now for starting defense.

OVERALL RATING: B

Jordan Scarlett

Eric Friedlander- Rating: B- Jordan has not hit the heights he did last year which is a bit disappointing. With more competition for minutes my expectation was for him to elevate his game. He has come on recently bumping his grade into the b range plus he has been setback by injuries.

Joseph Steen- Rating: C For as much as Scarlett impressed last year, this year hasn’t been the case. He has battled some injuries which has hindered his playing time, but he’s made a lot of crucial mistakes at the worst times this year. Up until the game against FC Cincinnati he did have a good run of forms over the few previous games, but it remains to be seen if he will get back to where he was last year.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Niko de Vera

Liam Pettit- Rating: B-  In his first year as a pro, De Vera has been fairly inconsistent. There are bright spots to his game, De Vera is speedy with the potential to be a dangerous overlapping fullback. At the same time when he’s not on his game he can get caught out of position frequently. All that said, he’s getting plenty of minutes and experience as a rookie which is great for his progression.

Anthony Merced- Rating: B+ Niko de Vera provided the bridge between the defense and front line that New York lacked last year. His tracking has also been a big reason why RB2 hasn’t fallen into some of the traps that doomed them in the 2017 regular season. A bit more offense would bump him from a solid B to an A for the remainder of the season.

OVERALL RATING: B

Wahab Ackwei

Joe Goldstein- Rating: C Admittedly, Ackwei faced a difficult task stepping into a thin backline. He showed positive signs, but most improve his reaction time. Tracking the runner off the ball is another area he must improve, but he has strong instincts when to step up to cut off passing lanes.

Roy Emanuel- Rating C Signed this past February, Ackwei has made four appearances in 2018 for NYRBII. The Ghanaian defender will be looking for more opportunities as the season progresses.

OVERALL RATING: C

Ethan Kutler

Roy Emanuel- Rating: A Selected in the second round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Ethan Kutler’s positive effects for NYRBII have led to opportunities with the first team this season. A reliable full-back who can have an impact in the opposing half also.

Eric Friedlander- Rating: B The first team call up rescues his grade since he is doing something I don’t see to impress the coaches. Overall I think he has been very average and inconsistent. His passing leaves much to be desired and I wish he was a little more aggressive when overlapping and filling space in the wide channels.

OVERALL RATING: B+

Lucas Stauffer

Gary Redman- Rating: C-  Lucas is a talented defender with a lot of heart, brings passion to the game when he’s engaged to keep the attackers in line, my only issue is that his game on that side of the ball needs a little more polish. Has a tendency to leave the rest of his backline teammates exposed when team press the Red Bulls at their end. If he can somehow iron out those kinks, he’ll be a player to watch.

Liam Pettit- Rating: D+ Still need to see more out of Stauffer. Ethan Kutler has a firm grasp on the starting RB job but first team call ups could give Stauffer more chances in the future. Though it’s still hard to forget Stauffer’s shocker against Ottawa Fury.

OVERALL RATING: C-

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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