The USL season is almost back! Toronto FC II will kick off their 2018 USL season on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 PM when they battle New York Red Bulls II at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Here is everything you need to know about this weekend’s opponents.
The 2016 USL Cup Champions again put together another strong season in 2017. Their regular season started rocky with just three wins in their first ten but the Red Bulls turned it around in August going on a six-match unbeaten streak and snuck into the playoffs with a 7th place finish just two points ahead of Orlando City B.
NYRB II went on an impressive playoff run defeating the favoured Charleston Battery and then knocking off Tampa Bay on route to the Eastern Finals where they ultimately fell to the 2017 Champions Louisville City on penalty kicks.
The Red Bulls have had the upper hand in the all-time series with Toronto FC II. The Young Reds are winless in six matches against NYRB II going 0-5-1.
The lone draw came in the 2016 USL Season Opener, also at Red Bull Arena. Raheem Edwards and Skylar Thomas scored for Toronto in the 2-2 draw. Current first team first choice Alex Bono was sharp in net for the Young Reds stopping a penalty kick and was unlucky on both Red Bull Goals.
NYRB II recently picked up a couple wins in preseason against USL sides Bethlehem Steel FC and Penn FC.
NYRB II currently have only six rostered USL players so their roster on opening day will be likely filled out by players under first-team contracts and academy call-ups. Five players who featured for NYRB II last season signed first team deals this offseason.
Midfielder Andrew Tinari played 23 games for NYRB II last season scoring twice. The native of West Islip, New York spent three years at Columbia University before signing with NYRB II before the 2017 season. Tinari should play a prominent role as a defensive midfielder for John Wolyniec after featuring in all three USL Cup playoff games last year.
Update: NYRB II announced their full roster here.