The New York Red Bulls II take on the Ottawa Fury FC tonight at MSU Soccer Park. NYRBII are looking to get back to their winning ways at home.
Given NYRBII’s current form, a home win is a must. Sitting in 8th place in the USL Eastern Conference, NYRBII need to create space between themselves and the other Eastern Conference teams hovering around the playoff line.
NYRBII looking for revenge Friday against the Fury
The Fury sit two points back from NYRBII in the standings. A second home loss to the club could be disastrous for the young Bulls.
“Hopefully it’s obvious to the guys just where we sit in the standings and where Ottawa sits,” said head coach John Wolyniec from practice this week. “Obviously, it’s a big game, you know we let some points slip against them being up a man there and then at home we kind of gave that game away early, so hopefully we can just be little bit better prepared to play and keep the game under control early and not get behind, and hopefully the game tilts in our favor a little bit more than last one.
Control and focus continue to be problems for NYRBII in 2018, especially on the backline. NYRBII have surrendered points from winning positions a number of times this season. Despite their strong offensive performances, figuring out a way to hold a clean sheet must be a priority.
To the Fury’s credit, their win over NYRBII did not rely on a come from behind approach. The Fury controlled the match against NYRBII from the opening whistle. Despite a slow start to the season, the Fury improved as the season continued, sitting middle of the pack now. Wolyniec recognizes the threat the Fury pose. He focused on the issue this week, linking the Fury’s style to their last opponent.
“[The Fury are] a team that got off to a slow start and right around when we played them at home, they started to pick up and have done pretty well. They’re organized, they’re good defensively, they’re combative,” said Wolyniec. “They’re tough to score against so they’re a team that, again, kind of like Charleston where we’re going to have to be on top of our game, and you know, obviously, with Charleston we let the game slip away from us a little bit and then we had to put so much into it to get back in.
“You know Ottawa is so similar, it’s not going to be so easy to be able to recover, so definitely a team that we’re going to have to limit their chances and make sure we’re in the game at all times, and hopefully we can make a few plays and edge out a win.”
If NYRBII can fix their issues in 2018, it could be similar to their 2017 finish. After struggling through the summer, NYRBII got hot to close out the season. Their improved form saw the team reach a second consecutive Eastern Conference Final.
Can they repeat that success in 2018?