After earning their first road win of the season on Saturday, New York Red Bulls II will now look to continue their home dominance when they take on Hartford Athletic.
Despite conceding first against the Charlotte Independence, NYRBII came back to grab the three points. Tom Barlow, who scored both goals in the match, deserves a big share of the credit.
“I got off to kind of a hot start, but I am happy that we got the win against Charlotte,” Barlow said. “It was a tough game. It was kind of tough conditions, it was wet, and they are a pretty good team, so I was just happy that we got the win.”
Head coach John Wolyniec praised Barlow’s impact and strong start to the year, scoring five goals in four matches.
“It has been impressive,” Wolyniec said. “Last year for Tom was good, but it was a little slow getting started and had an injury in preseason, but we always knew that this guy had some of the tools that were going to fit well with us. He has grown to be really liked around here in that he is easily coachable, and he works really hard. He takes pride in what he does, and he brings a great mix of hard work and enjoyment to his approach.”
Wednesday night’s match is the second of three matches in seven days for NYRBII. Wolyniec must manage rotating his squad for the match.
“We are out here trying to develop players,” Wolyniec said. “So we are going to give guys chances and in one sense, it is hard for us because our roster is a little bit slim, but in another sense, we get to use academy guys and first team guys. Some of the guys that have been on the bench deserve some extra minutes and some guys are feeling a little extra on a hard-fought road win. A couple (of) guys that are playing really well that might stick in the lineup, but our lineup for Wednesday will definitely change a little bit.”
Despite Hartford’s poor form, (0-0-6), Wolyniec and his team know it could be a difficult game against a hungry opponent.
“It is an interesting game,” Wolyniec said. “Obviously, Hartford has not gotten off to a great start, but a lot of times, teams that are hungry for those three points are difficult to deal with. They can be difficult to scout because if they are making changes to what they are doing to their lineups and stuff. It is not an easy game for us to prepare for.”
For NYRB II it is important they continue their strong home form to start the season. NYRB II won two of their three home matches to start the year. A single draw against Nashville SC remains the only blemish to an otherwise perfect start. Wolyniec hopes his team continues to keep their focus despite the condensed schedule.
“With the amount of home games that we have had in the beginning of the year, we have to make sure we keep grabbing points,” Wolyniec said. “You do not want to go on the road and win three points, then give them back at the next home game. Hopefully, our guys are up for it and ready for the challenge.”
Photo by John Perdicaro