New York Red Bulls II look for their first road win of the season on Saturday when they take on the Charlotte Independence.
NYRB II start crucial road stretch with trip to Charlotte
With only five games remaining, and four of them being on the road, NYRB II need to pick up points to remain in a playoff spot.
Road woes have plagued John Wolyniec’s side all season. They are the only team in the Eastern Conference without a road win this season. NYRBII managed to take 8 points in 13 games away from home this season. The have been unfortunate to not win some of their road games, but poor defending away from home accounts for their lack of points.
In their last 5 road matches, the defense has allowed 14 goals. That is more than half of the amount of goals they allowed in their previous 8 road trips. Although they did manage a clean sheet against Ottawa at home, NYRB II have allowed 12 goals in their last 5 games overall. The defense needs to be a lot better in the final stretch if this team wants to make the playoffs.
The Independence are currently in 12th place with 36 points, just 5 points off a playoff spot. Outside of bad losses to North Carolina FC and Louisville City FC, the Independence have picked up favorable results with wins over Nashville SC and the Richmond Kickers, and a draw against the Charleston Battery. The Independence have a record of 7-3-5 at home this season.
These teams met earlier in the year at Montclair State University and went into the half tied at one. However, NYRB II came out with a flurry in the second half and won the match 4-2.
Players to Watch:
Hassan Ndam. Ndam is the veteran on the backline and although he’s had some great moments this year, he’s had just as many bad as well. NYRB II will need their big man on the backline to be at his best in this game and the stretch run if this team is going to make the playoffs. When Ndam is at his best the backline seems to come together and he knows what responsibilities he has being of the veterans of the team.
Jorge Herrera. The top scorer on the team with 11 goals, Herrera has been one of the bright spots in the Independence’s attack. The forward scored from the penalty spot against NYRB II in the game at MSU earlier this season. He also leads the team in chances created with 38 and scored the equalizer against the Battery to help his team pick up a crucial point midweek as well.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography