TUCSON, Ariz. (February 19, 2017) – The New York Red Bulls, featuring almost an entirely different squad than the one featured in Feb. 15’s friendly against NYCFC, kicked off its 2017 Desert Diamond Cup campaign on Saturday against Sporting KC.
New York’s starters featured four MLS players, four USL players, two 2017 SuperDraft picks one Red Bulls academy player.
Although the score did not go their way, John Wolyniec’s young Red Bulls, who’s Starting XI was an average age of 21.55, impressed against Sporting KC’s best lineup.
“Obviously it was a tough challenge, Kansas City put a good lineup out there and had their starters play 60 minutes…they’re a good team,” Wolyniec said. “But I thought for a long time our guys played really well and held the game together.”
Amongst the team who faced Sporting KC, Wolyniec noted Arun Basuljevic’s positive performance in the match, and his improvement since the beginning of preseason in January
“Obviously being a young guy coming in from college early, it’s a big jump for him, but he’s starting to show that he’s making strides and showing that he belongs out there,” Wolyniec said. “He’s a clean, technical player that can make plays.
“If we’re going to play him in that deep role in the midfield, he’s just going to have to learn a little bit about defensively being a little more aware and stuff like that, but his work rate was really good and his ability on the ball was great.”