No inclement to stop the game this week. On Saturday night, New York Red Bulls II were able to grab three points and get off to their best start in the club history. There are some talking points from the game starting with.
First road game first road win
Yes, that’s correct in their first road game of the season NYRB II came away with their first road win. Something that has eluded the team over the past couple of seasons has been obtaining wins away from home. They only managed 2 wins on the road in 2018 and both of them came in the final month of the regular season.
Manager John Wolyniec expressed how he felt this group of guys were ready and focused to get a result away from home a couple of weeks ago. Although their game against Birmingham Legion FC was postponed they showed their high quality energy early in that game. Even after conceding first in the game on Saturday, NYRB II showed their resilience to get back into the game and take the lead moments later. They also managed to hold off a talented Charlotte in the second half which has given them problems the past couple seasons.
Speaking of goals, there’s been one man in particular scoring in bunches for NYRB II to start this season and he had an impact in a big way during the game on Saturday.
The Tom Barlow Show
Once again the former Wisconsin man came up big for his team on Saturday and his goals were the difference in the game.
Barlow started alongside Mathias Jørgensen up top and gave Charlotte’s defense problems all night with their constant movement. The experiment hasn’t worked yet with the first team, but with NYRB II the results have been there.
Barlow’s most impressive play on the night didn’t result in a goal because of a great save by Charlotte keeper Brandon Miller. Barlow was able to spin off a defender with a nice touch before spliting two defenders and being denied by Miller. The forward wouldn’t have to wait long to make the most of another chance.
Barlow’s first goal came from a great cross from Marcus Epps into the box and the forward produced a nice header to tie the game at 1-1. Three minutes later he grabbed his second after producing a nice finish after a low cross from Jared Stroud to put NYRB II up 2-1.
What’s impressive about Barlow is his eye for goal, in the first game against Swope Park his brace came via timing his runs off the back of defenders. Against Hartford, Barlow’s goal came via a rebound after a mistake from the keeper. On Saturday he scored a header and made a good run into space and scored with a low finish. He continues to find ways to grab goals and that is what goal scorers do.
Evan Louro comes up big
With all the attacking options Charlotte had, NYRB II’s defense was going to have a tough time slowing down the hosts on Saturday. Having a goalkeeper like Evan Louro helps as well of course.
Louro made some big stops in the second half to keep the scoreline the same, including a one off a bicycle kick from Niki Jackson that looked like it was certain to go in off the corner. The NYRB II goalie was called into action in the 84th minute when he first denied Jake Areman and then denied Jorge Herrera’s follow up attempt.
A lot has been made about NYRB II’s defense over the years, but many people seem to forget how important Louro is to the backline. He has stepped up as one of the leaders with his constant communication to the defenders and continues to quietly produce week in and week out. One thing is certain he’s come a long way in the past two years and there’s a reason why the organization continues to keep him around.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography