10 road games in and New York Red Bulls II are the only team in a playoff spot without a road win on the season. They will look to change that on Saturday when they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
New York Red Bulls II vs Tampa Bay Rowdies Preview
The baby bulls will look to end the month of July on a good note as they went three games unbeaten before their loss to FC Cincinnati last weekend. They come into this game with a 0-4-6 record on the road and have only scored 9 goals away from home all season.
In their previous match up against the Rowdies at Red Bull Arena this year, NYRB II had a resounding 5-0 win. Fidel Escobar, Jose Aguinaga, Stefano Bonomo and Brian White all grabbed goals, but this will be a much different Rowdies team this time around.
The Rowdies have remained inconsistent, but sit in 10th place just two points out of a playoff spot. They have a 2-2-1 record over their last 5 games and have a 5-3-2 record at home this season.
Since their 5-0 loss to NYRB II much has changed around the club. Stuart Campbell stepped down in May and Neil Collins took over. Marcel Schafer departed the club to head back to Germany and they lost David Najem for the season due an injury. However, they did bring Kwadwo Poku and former NYRB II forward Stefano Bonomo to strengthen their team.
Players to Watch
It’s no secret that Tinari is one of the major reasons this team is successful this season. He finds himself near the top of USL in chances created, completed 78% of his passes and has been one of the best players for NYRB II this year.
Along with Cristian Casseres and Chris Lema they have control the midfield against most of the teams they’ve played against. Lema and Casseres defensive capabilites allow Tinari more space to operate. Not to mention Tinari also counter presses well to prevent chances and win the ball back to distribute the dangerous front three that NYRB II have.
Another former NYRB II player on this team who won player of the week this past week for his game against Indy Eleven where he scored a goal and had two assists. Flemmings would have scored a goal in the first meeting between these two teams but he was denied by a great save from Evan Louro.
Flemmings pace and skill are two of his best attributes and whoever starts for NYRB II will a tough challenge to defend him. Something that should be kept an eye on is his chemistry with Bonomo as the former NYRB II players were instrumental in their success last season are very familiar with each other’s tendencies.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography