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Eastern Conference Preview: New York Red Bulls II

 Part 7 of our 13 part USL Eastern Conference Preview series, this time brought to you by returning louisvillecoopers.com contributor Michael C. Wells! Check out his photography work here. Links to previous precocious previews: Part I: Bethlehem Steel; Part 2: Charleston Battery; Part 3: Charlotte Independence; Part 4: FC Cincinnati; Part 5: FC Montreal; Part 6: Harrisburg City Islanders
LOOKING BACK: 
The New York Red Bulls II have only been around since March 28th of 2015.  The organization debuted with a 0-0 draw to the Rochester Rhinos and everyone thought that we had quite a football club to deal with.  However, NYRB II would prove to be very unpredictable.  For example, they lost to the Harrisburg City Islanders 2-0  on July 12th, only to bounce back and defeat them 2-0 six days later on July 18th.  This trend seemed to repeat itself throughout the 2015 season, as you never knew which RBNY II were going to show up.  On a more lighter note, NYRB II did record their first post-season victory of the organization, beating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4-2 on September 26th, 2015 (a game that was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and sent to overtime), only to fall the following week.  Led by head coach John Wolyniec, NYRB II finished in fourth place with a 12-10-6 record overall.
 
ROSTER/PLAYERS:   
The New York Red Bulls II scored big when they got Marius Obekop via loan from the New York Red Bulls for the 2015 season.  Obekop was a main part of the NYRB II offensive attack, making 22 appearances and 6 goals during the 2015 season.  However, on January 13th, 2016, Obekop signed with USL’s Orlando City B, leaving NYRB II with a hole in their plan for the 2016 season.
Overall, by the end of the inaugural season, a total of 13 NYRB II players who played in at least one USL match also played for the First Team during the MLS regular season. The 13 players totaled seven goals and three assists in MLS, and all three assists were game-winners.
For this season, the New York Red Bulls II have signed Harvard midfielder and former New York Red Bulls U-23 player Tim Schmoll to a USL contract.  Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Schmoll, a native of Coppet, Switzerland, played 61 games for the Crimson and started 40 matches. In four seasons with Harvard, he totaled 10 goals and six assists. As a senior, he was named All-Ivy second team and Ivy League honor roll in October. He has also received NSCAA/Continental Tire Third Team All-Region and All-Ivy League First Team accolades as a junior.
There are five guests from within the organization – Rafael Diaz, Stefano Bonomo, Tim Schmoll, Noah Powder and Mason Deeds – training with the First Team. All five players are familiar faces, with Diaz and Bonomo returning for their second season with the New York Red Bulls II while Schmoll, is a former standout with the Red Bulls U-23 PDL team. Deeds and Powder are also known commodities and have played at multiple age levels within the academy.
 
PRE-SEASON:
Overall, NYRB II has stayed off the radar, keeping almost all of their friendlies private and not open to the public.  Coach, John Wolyniec told us, “we just simply want to keep things undercover until we have everything in line.”