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Growing Pains Not a Failure for Red Bulls II

New York Red Bulls II have gotten off to a stuttering start in the 2021 USL Championship with much of their woes being attributed to the team being so young. Despite the frustrations, head coach John Wolyniec doesn't see this as a negative. It is a team that is learning on the job and gaining the experience needed to continue to on to the first team.

"We are going to have some growing pains," said Wolyniec in the lead of to tomorrow's game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. "Not to see that as a failure but as an opportunity to get better. We certainly want more results and we want to win games and be more competitive, especially at home, that has been frustrating."

New York has been unable to win any of their four games at MSU Soccer Park thus far this season, with the most recent loss being a 3-0 effort against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The team battled the elements on a cold and rainy Friday night but they were not able to make their mark. This leaves Red Bulls II with just one win in their first six games.

The bright spots have been fleeting, which is the main problem for New York. Consistency hasn't always been there. Spells of a strong press are seemingly undone by cavernous mistakes both defensively and when attempting to score goals. Players like Omar Sowe will look unbeatable one game and lifeless the next. Still, the talent is there and head coach Wolyniec is confident in his team's ability.

"We are undefeated on the road. I think we are close to putting some of the pieces in the right way. There is a domino effect too. We are dealing with the first team that has some injuries and stuff. Those are also our injuries because that means less first team guys."

The lack of experience is more pronounced this season than in others. Players like Ryan Meara or Connor Lade provided that experienced voice in years past. Now, a young group of players are looking to each other on the field and finding that the answers aren't there. The hope is that they learn from each misstep and take it into the next game.

That next game is against a Rowdies team that is undefeated thus far in the campaign. They are hungry for the USL Championship final that eluded them after the cancelation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far they have dominated the likes of Pittsburgh, Miami and Phoenix. For New York, it will be a major up-hill climb considering the team's home record.

"It is important for the future of the club to continue to increase the exposure to all high-level professional soccer," said Wolyniec. "So that we can maximize their development and and make good choices on who's ready in how much time."


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