Wolyniec: Desert Diamond Cup presents ‘great opportunity’ for Red Bulls’ young players

Wolyniec preseason huddle dl

TUCSON, Ariz. (February 19, 2017) – With the majority of the first team back east in preparation for Wednesday’s Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match, the Red Bulls’ second preseason camp in Tucson features many new faces in the squad.

As of Feb. 18, the roster is compiled of 23 players: five players on MLS contracts, four players on USL contracts, four Red Bulls Academy players, two unsigned MLS SuperDraft picks and eight unsigned trialists.

With two games against MLS competition and multiple training days ahead, Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec sees this as a chance for some new faces to make an impression.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for these guys,” Wolyniec said. “I’m trying to convey that to them as much as possible that playing against first team MLS players is a great opportunity for them.

“It’s a great place to show that you belong, or you belong in the future or that you have some promise by being able to compete and being able to stand on the field with some of the best players in MLS.”

The fewer players in camp has also allowed New York to bring in eight trialists, an increase of six when compared to the previous camp, which featured two players on trial.

Although Wolyniec says there is a chance that some of the trialists could make the team, he admits it’s, “going to be tricky.”

“Obviously we don’t have a lot of time to work these guys in and get them up to speed on all the team tactics, but they’re just going to have to show an understanding of at least certain tactics that we ask them to apply and show the willingness to put the work in,” Wolyniec said. “We demand a lot physically of all of our players and that part needs to be shown.

“And then how well they can fit in and play as a group and stay in tune with the group because when we’re being aggressive against the ball, we can’t have guys that are losing focus or not quite staying up to speed. They just have to show that they can be a part of the group for the full 90 minutes.”

The Red Bulls’ next Desert Diamond Cup match will be on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. ET.