The Miami FC and Red Bulls II already faced each other on May 14 at MSU Soccer Park on the Montclair State campus. Miami FC narrowly defeated the Red Bulls II 1-0 and their lone goal came from Devon Williams. The Jamaican has played in "The Miami FC"'s last three matches, following a minor injury.
While Miami defeated Charlotte on June 27, 2-1, the Red Bulls II lost their last game 1-2. Before that however, Wolly's men were jolly for beating Charlotte 3-1 and putting in a dominant offensive performance against a team that is two places ahead in the USL Championship Atlantic Division Standings.
Red Bulls II Riding Momentum
The Red Bulls II's last game was at home against Charlotte Independence. Head Coach John Wolyniec's group earned their first home win thanks to Roald Mitchell scoring his second of the season and the playmaking masterpiece by Jeremy Rafanello.
New York's head coach called that first home win his team's "most complete performance" and there is no doubt it was, but it also showed a dependency on two players to do the goal-scoring for a team that has the third-fewest goals-for in the USL's Atlantic Division. Miami FC is right in front of Red Bulls II in offense this season, but their defense has been much better than New York's, giving up 14 versus New York who has surrendered the most goals (22) in the division this season.
Out of all the players who have assumed starting roles on the Red Bull II this season, Head coach Wolyniec believes the 18-year-old 18-year-old central Midfielder, Daniel Edelman has not only become a staple in the lineup, but a steady leader and one of Wolyniec's most responsible players.
"Edelman has shown some ability to really be intelligent, hardworking in the midfield," Wolyniec said. "I think he had a snapback game, where he was impressive with his ability to cover ground on defense and, more importantly adding in his passing ability to create offense." - John Wolyniec
Edelman has played in every match that the Red Bulls II have played during 2021, starting ten matches and subbing on in one. He has shown remarkable endurance and poise as a two-way player, which has really helped this young squad. To boot, he is only 18-years-old and a New Jersey boy.
Red Bulls Players on Radar
While the praises of the Baby Red Bulls' offensive stars are being sung, the defensive players deserve to hear some adulation as well. Wolyniec agrees because he mentions how well midfielder Michael Knapp has played this season.
The 21-year-old central midfielder is one of six players over 20 on the 2021 Red Bulls II. Knapp leads the team in games-played with defender Emir Tombul and Edelman.
Michael Knapp showed well again," Wolyniec added. "Last game against Charlotte he was good and then in Pittsburgh he was good again and I thought that was an important piece for us." - Coach Wolly
When you go to a soccer game, fans want to see exciting offense, because the sport has a reputation of being too boring. Roald Mitchell began this season with the Red Bulls Academy and he was able to convince Coach Wolly that he had the guts to play USL soccer this season. Since then, the Montclair, NJ-native has since embarked on his first quest into Pro Soccer.
We continue to get something out of Roald every game. It is unfortunate, he had a couple chances and did not finish, but continues to get himself in dangerous spots. - John Wolyniec
At just 15, forward Serge Ngoma is by far the youngest player on the Red Bulls II. On Ngoma, a promising young player, Coach Wolyniec mentioned that “with each game he seems to take another little tiny step forward."
If you really want results, then your team cannot give up goals every game, Consistent results accumulate points. Now, you have to find those moments, especially at home to shutout the other team, let your goal matter and grab the points. - John Wolyniec
Wolyniec has not only been a great leader for this Red Bulls II developmental team because he’s been there a while. The 44-year-old Staten Islander led a team which included current MLS Star Aaron Long, to their first USL Cup Championship. So, to hear a man of Wolly's repute speak so highly of at least five of his hottest players right now, should bode well for the Red Bulls II as they prepare for one of the largest matches of the season on their home turf.