New York Red Bulls II mid-season grades: Midfielders and Forwards

Cristian Casseres

Garry Redman- Rating: C- Cristian has had some bright moments on the team this season, but tends to fade when met with stiffer competition from better teams in the conference. Don’t get it twisted, he’s a smart player that knows how to neutralize attacks with his tackles which translates how good he is on that side of the ball, but the rest of his talents need to round into form before he can be first-team ready.

Joe Goldstein- Rating: A Easily the most impressive player on the team. He shows continued growth each week, and makes the prospect of losing Tyler Adams palatable. His short passing is a sight to behold, but his range game falters at times.

Joseph Steen- Rating: A- He continues to grow each week and has been a big part of NYRB II’s success this season by locking down the midfield. He can distribute well, has shown off his skill and has even proven to be a great penalty taker. Would like to see him read the game a little better, but if he continues his development he’s a first team player next year.

OVERALL RATING: B+

Chris Lema

Roy Emanuel- Rating: B A part of the Red Bulls academy since 2010, Chris Lema has truly evolved within the club’s system. The midfielder notched his first professional goal earlier this month, and potential is certainly present.

Bill Twomey- Rating: B Lema has been a beast so far in the midfield and progressing well as the season has gone on. He’s come up big so far with 24 key passes and 2 assists, along with 1 goal.

OVERALL RATING: B

Jose Aguinaga 

Joe Goldstein- Rating: C Aguinaga has shown flashes, but he struggles to maintain control of the midfield during his shifts. When things are clicking, Aguinaga combines well with his teammates and looks comfortable in tight spaces. When they don’t, Aguinaga tends to drift out of games for stretches.

Anthony Merced- Rating: B- In 10 appearances Aguinaga has proven to be a solid option off the bench. He has lapses defensively but a good eye for goal. He’ll need to put together more consistent performances move up the ladder with Moreno and Tinari will ahead of him on the depth chart.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Steven Echevarria

Joseph Steen- Rating: B- Echevarria was apart of the early season success for NYRB II but an injury against Richmond earlier in the season sidelined him and Chris Lema was signed soon after. It’s tough for him to break into the team because of Lema and Casseres’ quality but Echevarria has shown he can distribute and play the position well when given the chance.

Bill Twomey- Rating: C Has not seen much time recently with Chris Lema, Casseres Jr and Stroud ruling the midfield. He has started a total of 6 games this season, playing in a total of 9 games. During that time he has had a total of 2 shots, with 1 on target.

OVERALL RATING: C+

Andrew Tinari

Gary Redman- Rating: C Andrew has been holding down the fort in the Red Bulls’ midfield. His recent run of play has give the team a much-needed boost, going into the match at Nippert Stadium, but has seen his game creep back a bit, needs to step it up for the stretch run.

Eric Friedlander- Rating: B+ Tinari has been solid this year playing in the Cam role in a 4231/433. The only problem for me has been his consistency. He has had some really good game and some that range anywhere from average to bad.

Anthony Merced- Rating: A+ Without Tinari the midfield wouldn’t hold together. Last season Tinari proved to be exactly what was needed late in the campaign and a big game player. This season Tinari is a leader on the young squad and one of the reason why they’ve walked the line but avoided a drastic drop in performance.

OVERALL RATING: B+

Amando Moreno

Eric Friedlander- Rating: A Amando Moreno deserves a first team call up. He came in and initially struggled with the system however he has figured it out and now leads the team with 9 goals. For me he has been one of if not the best player on team and he keeps finding new ways to score goals.

Joe Goldstein- Rating: A Moreno has easily been the most impressive outfield player over the last two months. He is a dangerous winger, combining strong wide play and a willingness to come inside to take defenders on one-v-one. Moreno is in form and playing for a first team contract more than almost any other player on the field.

Anthony Merced- Rating: A Moreno’s journey back to Red Bull was one where expectations were high and thus far he has lived up to the billing. He leads the team in appearances and goals scored while providing the punch necessary from the midfield. Some more help up front and he may prove to be the linchpin when the playoffs come around.

OVERALL RATING: A

Jared Stroud

Liam Pettit- Rating: A Stroud has been a revelation for NYRB II. Since getting on the field after the first couple of games, Stroud has become a mainstay in the starting xi. Leading the team in assists, Stroud continues to impress each and every game. I’d like to see Stroud become more selfish in front of goal. If Stroud continues this run of form whose to say he doesn’t have a chance at making the first team one day.

Joseph Steen- Rating: A The former Colgate man has really come on in the last month for NYRB II. His ability to create for his teammates is a big part of this team’s success and his left foot is a constant danger.  He does have a good work rate as well to boot. Stroud did have a hat trick just recently and hopefully that inspires him to be more selfish in front of goal going forward because he has the talent to score double digits.

Jared Stroud- Rating: A+ Stroud is the assist machine. He really came into the spotlight when he got the notorious face goal against the Richmond Kickers. To top it off, he also got a hat trick in the same game. He’s also got 6 assists on the season so far. I’m excited to see what the rest of the season holds for him.

OVERALL RATING: A

Ben Mines

Bill Twomey- Rating: A  It’s sad that Ben Mines is currently injured. Ben started off the season great, playing in the Red Bull’s home opener against the Timbers and scoring one goal. He’s the type of player that keeps pressing and never gives up. We’ve seen this countless times while Ben has played on RB2 and I wonder how many goals he will be able to rack up when he returns

Anthony Merced- Rating: B+ Hard to judge Mines when he splits so much time between the first and second team. When he’s on the field the defense is aware. Two goals may not look like much but he’s growing and will be a star if he stays healthy. He gets a downgrade also because of his own goal prediction early in the year (sarcasm)

OVERALL RATING: B+

Brian White

Eric Friedlander- Rating: A- Brian White is someone I was very high on going into the draft and he has not disappointed. He has 7 goals and 5 assists which illustrates well how well-rounded his game is. He made Stefano Bonomo expendable. He also has the best goals against average in USL for goalies with a minimum 1 save.

Liam Pettit- Rating: A- Brian White is having a great year for New York Red Bulls II. In the season opener, White missed everything in sight but he was consistently finding dangerous spots to be in. Since that game, he’s continued to find those spots and the goals and assists keep coming in. White is the clear cut #1 option at striker.

Joseph Steen: Rating: A The 2018 MLS SuperDraft first round pick has had a great year and is one of the top players on NYRB II’s squad. Despite a rocky first game, he has continued to improve all aspects of his game throughout the season. Everyone knew he had the ability to score, but his ability to create for teammates and his hold up play should not be overlooked either. Not to mention how about his cameo as a goalie this year as well.

OVERALL RATING: A-

Tom Barlow

Roy Emanuel- Rating: B A second-round selection in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, Tom Barlow is still finding his place within the team’s attack. He has netted two goals thus far in 11 appearances.

Liam Pettit- Rating: C+ Tom Barlow’s potential could have been one of the reasons for NYRB II letting go of Stefano Bonomo. As an option off the bench, Barlow is still coming into his own. His best performance of the season came against Louisville City when the sub drew a penalty and scored a go ahead goal.

OVERALL RATING: B-

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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