22 games in, zero road wins on the season. For New York Red Bulls II, that should be a worrying trend. But knowing their home form and how they’ve played on the road of late, there shouldn’t be cause for concern.
NYRB II’s improvement away from home
The road struggles haven’t been new to John Wolyniec’s side. Around the same time last season they only had one road win under their belt. They came into the month of August with a record of 1-5-3, fighting to make the playoffs. This year, although they are winless (4 losses, 7 draws), they do have more road points than last year. Everything else is about the same.
Aside from the two awful performances at Pittsburgh and Bethlehem, NYRB II have played well enough to win games on the road this year. Since those two performances, they’ve more than doubled the amount of goals (3) they scored in their first 7 road games with 8 goals in their last 4 games. Their inability to close out games has cost them as the second trip to Bethlehem and the game at Louisville showed. The more important aspect is the team has started to gather some momentum away from home similar to last year, something Wolyniec touched on before the game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“Even though we lost against Cincinnati on the road, I thought it was one of our best performances on the road,” Wolyniec said. “I thought we played really well and did a lot of good things throughout that game so I think, I’m hoping, and I believe we took steps in that Cincinnati game despite the result, and hopefully we see that this weekend.”
Although NYRB II couldn’t find a way to grab the three points against Tampa Bay, they controlled the game for the most part even before they went up a man and did grab another point.
Perhaps the biggest turnaround from last season is how well this team has played at home. Unlike last season when they were inconsistent, outside of one poor performance against Ottawa Fury, NYRB II have dominated teams at home. They’re on pace to tie the number of home wins they had last year in their upcoming home stand. Last year NYRB II finished with 30 points and a 10-6-0 record at home. The difference between this year and last year is huge.
Wolyniec’s men face trips to Charleston, North Carolina twice (Charlotte once), Indianapolis, Nashville, and Pennsylvania in their last 6 road games of the year. While it may not be the easiest schedule, based on their home form taking 7 points from those games might be enough to get them into a top four spot. NYRB II is one of the only teams in the East that hasn’t one on the road yet, but like last season they could be starting to peak at the right time and could be set up for another post season run.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography