New York Red Bulls midfielder Marcus Epps could not have expected to be the veteran player when he stepped onto the field on Saturday afternoon against Swope Park Rangers for New York Red Bulls II. The 24-year-old, who was looked as the freshman player when he suited up for Philadelphia last season, was quickly introduced to the rotating cast of bright young talent USL fans have become accustomed to with this New York side.
“Last year I was considered and underclassman,” said Epps. “Coming in to a new team and being a senior player, it’s definitely a different view point on the game but it was good. I don’t mind helping guys and these guys are great. So it’s easy to come in with such a good group.”
Epps brings a high level of talent to the field. In his 90 minute appearance he grabbed an assist when he curled a ball over the defense to striker Tom Barlow and then scored the game-winner with another curling effort past the Swope Park keeper in the second half. His touch was crisp and his movement on the ball was better than just about anyone else on the field in week one.
“A big coaching point that I was receiving from John and the coaching staff was to be aggressive and to get forward,” said Epps. “I think that was my mindset going into the game and it worked out.”
New York Red Bulls II is a team that rotates constantly but under head coach John Wolyniec, they have been able to maintain a philosophy that wins games. Whether Epps sees more minutes with the USL or MLS team remains to be seen. However, his first NYRBII appearance showed his talent and his capability as a game-changer.
Photo by John Perdicaro