New York Red Bulls II forward Jake LaCava (left) and Hartford Athletic midfielder Gabriel Torres could both see action as their clubs square off on Friday night at MSU Soccer Park. | Photo courtesy TJ Sallah / Hartford Athletic
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II and Hartford Athletic will renew their rivalry to open their respective 2021 USL Championship regular season campaigns on Friday night at MSU Soccer Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
@NYRBII (0-0-0, 0pts) is looking to rebound from the first season in its history where it failed to reach the USL Championship Playoffs, after defensive struggles were unable to be masked over by a still strong attack. Two key figures up front return this year with Omar Sowe and Jake LaCava both looking to build on solid individual campaigns. New York will have plenty of new faces elsewhere, however, as Head Coach John Wolyniec looks to get his side back to its ethos of winning as part of player progression.
@HFDAthletic (0-0-0, 0pts) could be looked at as the side that replaced New York in the postseason as it finished top of Group F to earn the first home playoff game in club history. There have been offseason changes at Dillon Stadium as well, most notably the arrival of Harry Watling as the club’s new Head Coach to replace Radhi Jaidi. Friday night will make Watling’s first game on the sidelines in the professional ranks, but he will have some good experience to pull from including former Red Bulls II player Sebastian Elney and former NYCFC goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell.
FiveThirtyEight.com Match Predictor: New York Red Bulls II 37%, Harford Athletic 37%, Draw 26%
New York Red Bulls II – None
Hartford Athletic – None