With the USL Championship season ending about two months ago, New York Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec has had some time to reflect on what has been a weird year.
“The biggest lesson I took from 2020 was that being adjustable is a huge strength to have,” Wolyniec said. “With the season being cut in half, that is not ideal for a development timeline for young players, but our adjustability allowed us to stay focused and be successful at what is important, improving young players and moving them up within the club.”
With only a few weeks left in the year, Wolyniec is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in 2021, both for him personally and the club.
“There are a number of things I am looking to improve in the new year. I was fortunate to have taken a U.S. Soccer Professional Coaching Course this past year and I have learned that there are countless areas to improve on as a coach,” Wolyniec said. “I want to focus on helping young players become a larger part of their own development path.”
Forwards Jake Lacava and Omar Sowe will be returning in 2021, with the pair coming in first and second respectively in goals scored for the club.
“It is always nice to have your top goal scorers back,” Wolyniec said. “It certainly gives us some depth up top, but most importantly, those are two young guys have shown they have a lot of potential within our club and it is exciting to have another year to help them to continue to add and improve their games.”
In this weird year, the usage of Academy players became an integral part of the club. Wolyniec expects them to continue the success they had this past year.
“The expectations for those players have been raised,” Wolyniec said. “A number of those players showed well last year and now having the experience of training with us and playing in matches, hopefully it translates to multiple Academy players being ready to contribute right away next season.”
The new season is in the distance and over the next couple months, the roster will take shape and Wolyniec is looking to improve upon a few things head into future.
“Obviously, at this point we have a lot of holes in the roster, but I think the main thing we need to do is bring in players that can handle the demands of our system,” Wolyniec said. “As we continue to go younger with our roster, certain positions demand experience. We have some talented players in our Academy that we are looking forward to.”