MATCH PREVIEW: NYRBII Open 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Campaign Against Columbus Crew 2 at Field


Columbus Crew 2 vs. New York Red Bulls II Field – Columbus, OH

Sunday, March 17 – 3:00 p.m. ET

MLS Season Pass on Apple TV


COLUMBUS, OH (March 17, 2023) - New York Red Bulls II open their season against the same opponent as last year’s opener, this time on the road, to face Columbus Crew 2 at Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET and coverage is available on MLS Season Pass with Apple TV.

Today’s match will be only the third season opener that Red Bulls II have played on the road in the club’s ten season history. New York has posted a 2-4-3 record with 10 points earned in season opening matches, including last year’s draw against Columbus at MSU Soccer Park.

These two sides went head-to-head twice last season, with New York earning the edge in the season series with one win and one draw. The clubs held each other to an even 1-1 score line at MSU Soccer Park to open the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season, with Columbus coming out on top in the shootout 3-2 and earning the second point. The narrative changed dramatically five months later when Red Bulls II travelled to Historic Crew Stadium and put on a fantastic performance in a 5-0 victory to take the season series.  

New York is entering their second season in MLS NEXT Pro after an incredibly successful introduction to the league in 2023. The club posted a 14-8-6 record and finished the regular season with the number four seed in the Eastern Conference. After defeating Chicago Fire FC II in the first round of the playoffs, Red Bulls II had their run end in the Eastern Conference Semifinal in a 2-1 loss to New England Revolution II at Gillette Stadium.

In 2024, Columbus will look to continue their dominance in MLS NEXT Pro over the past two seasons. After winning the title two years prior in the league’s inaugural season, Crew 2 reached the Cup Final yet again last year, however, they would end up falling to Austin FC II, 3-1, at Field.

New York’s roster is constructed with many familiar faces from last year’s squad. Players such as Ibrahim Kasule, Omar Valencia, Mohammed Sofo, and Juan Gutierrez are all expected to make a large impact in today’s match and throughout the season. There will also be contributions made from first team talent that played an integral role in last year’s group, with names like Wiki Carmona, Ronald Donkor, and Julian Hall all expected to get minutes this season. 

In addition to the returning players, New York’s new signings entering this season have the chance to make significant impacts in today’s match and throughout the year. One of those signings will be new to MLS NEXT Pro, but not the club itself. Midfielder Steven Sserwadda will be joining Red Bulls II for the first time since 2022, after he signed a first team contract and then suffered a season ending knee injury to sideline him for the rest of 2023. Other than Sserwadda, New York brought on some additional help for this campaign, such as midfielder Malick Dembele, defender Jair Collahuazo, goalkeeper Dallas Odle, and Red Bulls Academy product Tanner Rosborough. 

Coverage for today’s match is available on MLS Season Pass with Apple TV.