FC Cincinnati travels to the Garden State to take on New York Red Bulls II in a Saturday matinee at Red Bull Arena. After a disappointing derby day loss last weekend, the Orange & Blue regressed to second place in the Eastern Conference. They will look to correct course on the road against a potent but sometimes inconsistent Baby Bulls roster.
John Wolyniec’s Red Bulls II side currently sits in sixth place in the East on 17 points. They only have two losses this season, but are three points behind FC Cincinnati, having drawn five of eleven games. The Red Bulls have been very good on home soil in 2018. They beat Indy Eleven 4-1 at Red Bull Arena last Sunday, and can boast victories over the Charleston Battery and the Tampa Bay Rowdies at home earlier in the year where they put five goals on the board in each game.
Alan Koch’s men suffered one of their worst losses of 2017 in the corresponding fixture last season. New York routed them 4-0 at MSU Soccer Park in a match that the Orange & Blue finished with 10 men. FC Cincinnati did get a measure of revenge late in 2017 by beating the Baby Bulls 4-2 in their last home match of the season. FC Cincinnati is 1-3-0 against NYRBII all-time and has never earned a point in New Jersey. It will be a difficult place to rebound, but Cincinnati’s form on the road has been excellent in 2018.
Captain Dekel Keinan is suspended from this match for yellow card accumulation after receiving his fifth of the season against Louisville City FC last Saturday. Paddy Barrett and Forrest Lasso will likely pair in the center defense. They’ve done so twice before, combining for victories over Indy Eleven and Detroit City FC.
Midfielders Andrew Tinari and Chris Lema are players to watch, according to Red Bulls II savant Joe Goldstein*. Tinari has 3 goals and 1 assist, and his team is most effective when the Columbia University product starts in a central attacking midfield role. Goldstein expects Saturday’s lineup to be similar to the squad that faced Indy Eleven, except for Cristian Cásseres Jr. and Hassan Ndam. Those two are likely to be called up to the Red Bulls MLS squad.
Here are four fast facts to get you ready for a 1pm Saturday kickoff in Harrison, NJ.
- FC Cincinnati and NY Red Bulls II are two of the top five scoring offenses in USL. Both have 20 total goals in eleven matches played. A shootout could be on the cards.
- New York Red Bulls II have scored 17 goals at home this season and just 3 on the road.
- The Orange & Blue are 4-1-1 on the road this season, with their only loss coming in their last away match against Charlotte. New York is 4-0-1 at home this season. Something’s got to give.
- Michael Lahoud has taken over the mantle as the most accurate passer on the team with an 88.3% overall passing accuracy over 5 appearances this season.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of New York Red Bulls II vs FC Cincinnati on Saturday.