New York Red Bulls II will face Louisville City FC in the Eastern Conference Final this weekend.
Not only is it a matchup between two sides that have meet at this stage of the playoffs in the last two seasons, but it is also a matchup between the last two USL Cup winners.
It is a scenario that John Wolyniec’s side has seen before.
“It’s interesting, fast forward a year and we’re kind of back in the same place,” Wolyniec said. “It’s a bit odd, with a lot of teams and a lot of good teams out there that it would end this way, but you have to give credit to them.”
Though Louisville led New York in goals scored over their two games during the regular season (9-7), Wolyniec believes it will be different this time.
“It’s going to be a challenge for sure and they’ve gotten a few on us this year,” he said. “But we feel like we’ve improved a lot, we feel like we’re in a good place, and I think the biggest thing is just confidence in the back has been pretty high and you can see that in two shutouts in the playoffs.”
NYRB II defender Kevin Politz knows that he and his teammates must continue to be defensively strong if they want to succeed at Louisville.
“I think that something that has contributed to our improvement on defense is just constant communication,” Politz said. “Everyone is on the same page, so if we keep doing the things we have been doing well, I think we will have some success.”
A win punches New York Red Bulls II a ticket to their second USL Cup Final in the club’s four-year history.
“It would mean a lot, the club puts a lot of resources into Red Bulls II, so we want to do the best we can,” said Politz. “Winning the Eastern Conference and advancing to the final would be a huge accomplishment.”