New York Red Bulls II will look to get back on track after their first loss of the season when they take on Indy Eleven on Saturday.
The “baby bulls” started out the season unbeaten in their first five games before their loss last weekend against Hartford Athletic. While NYRB II had plenty of chances in the game, they were unable to convert them into goals. On the other hand Hartford were able to expose NYRB II’s defensive mistakes, particular on set pieces to win the match.
NYRB II midfield Chris Lema said the mentality all week has been to clean things up and give a 90 minute performance.
“The mentality has been to fix things and basically give a full performance,” Lema said. “Last game, we did a decent job, but we shut off for 20 to 30 minutes and that’s where the goals came in. So we need a full 90-minute performance.”
Indy Eleven will be another big test for NYRB II early on in the season. Since dropping their first game of the season against Saint Louis FC, the visitors have won their last four games, scoring three goals in 3 out of 4 of them.
Indy Eleven helped strengthen their attack in the off-season as they brought in two of the top goals scorers in the Western Conference last year in Dane Kelly and Thomas Enevoldsen. The two forwards have combined for 5 of the 11 goals Indy Eleven has scored this year.
These teams met twice last year with NYRB II winning the match at Red Bull Arena 4-1, while Indy Eleven won 3-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be the first time these two meet at MSU Soccer Park when they play Sunday.
Lema knows the danger the visitors bring with their experience but said his teammates are focused on playing their style.
“Indy Eleven has always been a hard team to play against,” Lema said. “They have a lot of experience and have been playing well. “All we have to do now is just focus on our system, play well, get
the full 90-minute performance, and I think we will be fine.”
Photo by John Perdicaro