New York Red Bulls II will look to continue their impressive start to the season when they take on Charlotte Independence on Saturday.
NYRB II didn’t take long to grab the lead against Birmingham Legion FC last weekend but inclement weather prevented the match from being completed, a make up date has not been announced.
The baby bulls struggles on the road have been well documented the past few seasons. Despite being one of the best home teams in USL Championship, their inability to grab points on the road early in the season has been an issue.
NYRB II midfielder Jared Stroud said that early success on the road could help this team over the course of the season.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Stroud said. “Especially because last year we struggled on the road, but I think this year we look a little bit more of a mature team, It gives us a little boost going into the weekend. Overall, every game is a different game and we have to approach every game with a different style and depending on who we are playing.”
NYRB II haven’t won against Charlotte since 2016, the year they ended up winning the USL Cup, although they did manage a draw last season against them. Although Charlotte hasn’t won a game yet this season, Stroud knows the danger they present in the final third.
“In some ways they still have the same saltiness,” said coach John Wolyniec this week. “Some similar names coming back to the team, but also some changes. I think it is going to be a contrast of styles, and they like to play possession soccer and we are going to go and try and take it away from them. It certainly sets up for an interesting tactical battle. They have good individual players. Some attackers that are hard to deal with a bunch of guys who have scored a lot of goals. Definitely a challenge for us. We can swing it, getting out first one on the road.
“They are a well-respected team,” Stroud said. “We played them last year hard. It is going to be a good match-up. They have some good attackers and I think their results have not been showing of how good of a team they can be. It is going to be tough and we are going to have to approach it like we do every game.”
Charlotte has scored all of their goals at home this year, 2 against Indy Eleven in a 3-2 loss and 3 against Atlanta United 2 in a 3-3 draw. The hosts have plenty of experience on their team which includes Jorge Herrera and Enzo Martinez who have given NYRB II trouble in the past. Despite the experience, Stroud said NYRB II have advantages of their own they can use.
“[NYRBII] have to use our advantages against those type of players,” Stroud said. “We are younger and fitter and hopefully a little bit hungrier. We cannot let them have extra space, but as young players I think you just use that energy. I hope that gives you more of a boost over some older players and you cover more ground and be more aggressive. They are experienced, but we will have to just go after the game and treat it as any other game.”
Photo by John Perdicaro