Forward Omar Sowe will be starting his third season with New York Red Bulls II, but it will be his first full season with the club. After signing his first professional contract in August 2019, Sowe finished out the last couple months of the season, which included recording his first professional goal against Louisville City FC.

Entering the 2020 season, Sowe was excited to get his first preseason with the club, but then the season was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with a full season on the horizon, Sowe is looking forward to the consistency of playing professional matches every week.

“I am just excited to be back out there again, obviously, in front of the fans,” Sowe said. “We have a lot of people coming and it has been a while since we have felt that atmosphere and I cannot wait for that.”

Sowe has been impressed with how far the team has come in such a short time and is excited to see it come all together ahead of their home opener on Friday.

“We’ve done a lot and we have learned a lot and I feel there is a lot of good things to come,” Sowe said. “We have the work ethic and the energy; we just have to make sure we are tuned in for 90 minutes going up against an experienced Hartford team.”

The match on Friday will be the second time the clubs have met each other in 2021, after Hartford took a 2-1 victory in a preseason scrimmage two weeks ago.

“I think overall when we faced them, it was a good test for us to see where we were at,” Sowe said. “I think that it is a good way to start off the season, with a hard match because it shows a USL Championship season will look like for us younger guys.”

This will be the seventh season in NYRB II history, and it will be the sixth time the club has opened their season at home. The match is scheduled for Friday, April 30, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET. Coverage will be available on ESPN+.