Red Bulls II, Red Bulls
(Photo by Kaitlin Marold - JSN)

Baby Red Bulls Travel to Pittsburgh Looking for Second Straight Win

The Red Bulls II will face Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday Night at 7:00 PM. The Baby Red Bulls won their last game by the score of 3-1 and got their offense clicking on all cylinders, so they will be looking to hand Pittsburgh a loss on their home turf; Highmark Stadium.

The previous encounter in the USL Championship between the Red Bulls II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds was a disastrous game for the home team. It was a disaster in the sense that the weather was unrelentingly bad and the result was infuriating for Head Coach John Wolyniec, his players and the fans. Then, the Red Bulls II rose from the ashes of their poor start to the season and won decisively against Charlotte Independence on their home turf at MSU Soccer Park. In that game, some key players were able to get their games back on track.

Jeremy Rafanello scored two goals and added an assist on June 16. Roald Mitchell, who is from Montclair and who fought his way onto the Red Bulls II out of the Red Bull Academy this year, scored his third goal of the 2021 season. Meanwhile, another New Jersey-native who has struggled to find his way, since he led the team in goals last year, is Omar Sowe. The Harrison-native who has not scored since May 18.

Teaching Consistency

In any sport you watch, you will probably hear the announcers discussing player's mental toughness. 'Boy, is this guy mentally tough," and it's usually in reference to a player who goes through some hard times, where they aren't producing, and emerges a better player.

The Red Bulls II's striker Omar Sowe is in one of those rough patches. We all are, as the pandemic has just begun to wane and life has started to return to normal.

Baby Red Bulls manager, John Wolyniec played ten years in the MLS. He played for several different teams and told me "coaching change is just how it is at the highest levels." Wolyniec played for five different managers during his career and those include current MLS coach, Bruce Arenas in 2007 and Juan Carlos Osorio in 2009.Wolyniec experienced the ups and downs of a professional soccer career and this qualifies him to give guidance to Omar Sowe on how to deal with the ups and downs of his career.

Goalscoring is mystery and it can confuse you. If you let it get to you it can only compound your problems. Having emotional control, in that sense, is really important but very difficult.

Then the Red Bulls II coach offered his advice on what Omar can tangibly do to make sure he's in position to succeed even if the goals aren't coming right away.

Omar has to learn to take credit in that that he made a good play and control what he can control in the sense that I have to just keep doing what I know is right," Wolyniec said. "Do what the coaching staff is asking [him] to do. It might not work out right away, but if you have that trust in yourself and your teammates when the time comes you’ll be ready.

Previewing Pittsburgh Riverhounds

  • All-time Record: 5-5-1
  • AWAY at PIT : 1-2-1

The Red Bulls II will travel to Pittsburgh in good spirits after they dominated Charlotte on Wednesday June 16. They are looking to string two straight wins together for the first time all season long. One of New York's most consistent players this season has been Daniel Edelman.

The 18-year-old central midfielder signed with Red Bulls II last summer and made several appearances but never became a fixture in Coach Wolyniec's starting lineup. So far, 2021 has been a different story. The New Jersey-native has made nine starts and played in ten matches overall. Furthermore, He has played all 90 minutes in nine out of his ten appearances. Edelman grew up in Warren township and described the feeling he got when he used to attend New York Red Bulls games at Red Bull Arena.

The buzzing atmosphere and the passion from the fans at Red Bull Arena was incredibly contagious," Edelman said. "Attending these matches kept giving me reasons to become a professional soccer player." - Daniel Edelman

In addition to being a young pro soccer player, Edelman is also a student of the game and he gives fans a preview of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and their style of play.

Pittsburgh are a very jumpy team. They are going to attack you and let you know that they are here to play. We don't want to get caught or make any silly mistakes. We have to go forward, be brave and courageous." - Daniel Edelman

Anthony Paradiso
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