New York Red Bulls II will play the final game of their three game homestand on Friday when they take on Memphis 901 FC at Montclair State University Soccer Park.
NYRB II managed a draw against Nashville SC last week in their first tough test of the season. Despite controlling the majority of the 2nd half, the baby bulls couldn’t find a winner after tying up the score early on. Manager John Wolyniec talked about some of the things the team has learned through their first two games.
” Usually early in the season like this it has a lot to do with the tactics and we are hung up on some of those things,” Wolyniec said. “Some young guys are getting their first professional games, it’s a lot of the learning curve as far as the pace of the game. It’s games a little bit tighter and teams can disrupt you a little bit more so you have to be good in certain moments to make a difference in the game. Right now we’re kind of working through that, so far, it’s been good I think we made some adjustments from game one to game two and that’s a positive sign.”
NYRB II will see some familiar faces on the opposite side of the field as former NYRB II player Dan Metzger and former NYRB academy member Adam Najem are key players for Memphis. Metzger has proven to be a consistent performer in USL and Wolyniec praised his play.
” Dan [Metzger], one of the first NYRB II signings and one of the first Academy players that I got to know when I started working with the club,” Wolyniec said. “Hard worker that covers a lot of ground and is a good tackler. You know he’s definitely going to bring some edge to this game, and you know he’s going to put a lot into it.”
As for Najem, he has been somewhat of a NYRB II killer over the past few years during his time with Bethlehem Steel. The midfielder leads Memphis in chances created this year with 4 chances created in two games. Wolyniec touched on how he’s a dangerous player the team must keep an eye on.
Adam [Najem], a talented guy got to know him right around the same time as Dan and obviously spent some time with Philadelphia,” Wolyniec said. “We have played him in the past already so we know that Adam can be a handful. He has caused us problems so hopefully we learned our lesson and, you know, we’re able to take care of both those guys and if we do that. That will set us up well.”
Memphis has a record of 1-1-1 and managed to score two goals in three games on the year. In their last game they managed their first victory in club history with a 1-0 road win against Bethlehem Steel. While they have yet to score many goals they have only conceded twice in their three games.
If NYRB II manage to take home three points it would be Wolyniec’s 70th win with the club since he took over back in 2015.
” It’s been great working with this team,” Wolyniec said. “It’s really been enjoyable. A lot of good people around here that that put a lot into it. My staff. Adam, Hector, Scott, and all these guys, they put a lot in. The first team is great to work with Chris, Bradley, C.J. and Preston, so it’s been a pleasure working here and you know we have good people around that are talented and are driven. Success follows so hopefully we get that 70th and on to 80.”
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography