Three Thoughts on NYRB II preseason

The NYRB II season starts in a little under 2 weeks and while we don’t know how the final roster will shake out the slate of preseason games have given us an idea of what it may look like.

Defense Much Improved

While it is early the defense looks much improved across the board. Sean Nealis looks to be the steal of the draft and has shown his ability to defend in space cover ground and win balls in the air. Throw in a healthy Jordan Scarlet. Roy Boateng looked solid in his brief cameo in the first game and the trialist Jhonathan De Sousa and Preston Killwien flashed potential.

The biggest improvement is at outside back where there is real talent and competition. A two-deep of Allan Yannes and Janos Loebe and Rece Buckmaster and Edgardo Rito at left and right back, respectively, is a massive improvement in a spot that was exploited far to often last year.

Be patient with Koffi

It is understandable to have high expectations for a guy the team spent allocation money on. However, I urge all to be patient. Koffi has looked better in every single game he has played in and I fully expect him to keep improving as he gets more minutes. It is important to remember that he left college after his Junior season which ended in the winter of 2017. So, while he did train he will need time to get back up to match speed.

What will the offense look like

With Vincent Bezecourt and Florian Valot getting minutes, it is hard to know what the front 4 will look like. My guess is we see Jared Stroud play a lot more at the central attacking midfielder position. I expect Ben Mines to be the primary starter on the right wing, with Tom Barlow starting up top.

The question is really on the left wing where it could be one of the trialist or one of the many wingers on the first team such as Omir Fernandez. I was impressed by trialist Sebastian Eleney and Amarildo De Souza and hope both make the team.

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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