A single point separates Nashville SC and New York Red Bulls II. Their clash on Saturday could be a make-or-break situation for both team’s seasons.
Playoff Battle Intensifies as NYRBII Head to Nashville
NYRBII are yet to taste victory on the road. Last time out, they played the Charlotte Independence to a draw. To make matters worse, NYRBII have gone three games without a win.
Up front, NYRBII have been phenomenal and currently boast the third best goal scoring record in USL. Jared Stroud and Brian White are maturing well. Amando Moreno has shown why the Red Bulls valued the young player. White has since transitioned to the first team, and Tom Barlow and Anatole Abang split time at striker.
The defensive side of the ball is where the slope gets slippery. NYRBII have the fourth worst defensive record in the Eastern Conference and have kept just three clean sheets this year.
The cohesive partnership John Wolyniec envisioned Hassan Ndam and Kevin Politz would form this season has not come to fruition. Ndam continues to be prone to mistakes and Politz is still finding his feet at the professional level.
Nashville, however, come into this match on a high note. They ended a four-game winless streak with a midweek victory over Atlanta United 2. Tucker Hume scored for the second successive game and was joined on the score sheet by Kwamina Mensah that night.
For Nashville, their offensive game plan will be the biggest worry heading into their final four regular season matches. They head into Saturday’s fixture with the sixth worst offensive record across USL, scoring just 33 goals in 30 matches.
At the back, only Ottawa’s Maxime Crepeau (14) has more clean sheets than NSC ‘keeper Matt Pickens. In front of Pickens, Liam Davis and Justin Doyle have been just as sound in their own defensive responsibilities.
Players to Watch
While the worries remain on the defensive end for NYRBII, Stroud needs to be at his best to breakdown this stubborn NSC defense. A lot of good opportunities failed to find the back of the net last match, but Stroud needs to continue presenting his forwards with more chances.