With their high-energy, high-pressing style of play, there have been few teams capable of the high levels of entertainment in the USL than the New York Red Bulls II. The 2016 USL Cup champion has reached the USL Cup Playoffs in each of its first three seasons in the league, scoring 188 goals across the regular-season and USL Cup Playoffs between 2015-17.
This season the side has struggled away from home, sitting winless on the road, which in ordinary circumstances would lead to a struggle to make the postseason. With the side tied for the most home wins in the league alongside Real Monarchs SLC, though, the Red Bulls II are in fifth place ahead of their meeting with Louisville City FC on Friday night at MSU Soccer Park (7 p.m. ET | Match Center | ESPN+).
That’s thanks to an attack that has produced some eye-popping attacking numbers this season on home turf. Here are seven that explain why the Red Bulls II are among the best entertainment in the USL this season.
37 – Here’s the easy one, right? There’s been no side close to having scored the 37 goals at home the Red Bulls II have so far this season – no other club is within 10 tallies – and the club’s home goals total is higher than 26 of the USL’s 33 teams have in total this season. On top of that, it’s almost matched Reno 1868 FC’s 42 home goals from a season ago, when 1868 FC set a USL single-season record for regular-season goals with 75.
29.19 – If a team is racking up that many goals at home, it’s goal-per-minute strike rate is going to be impressive. In averaging a goal at a shade under every 30 minutes, the Red Bulls II are averaging three goals per game on home turf this season. Only six other teams in the USL this season can claim to be scoring at a rate faster than a goal per 45 minutes, and none of those are within 10 minutes of the Red Bulls II’s strike rate with the LA Galaxy II second in the league at 39.6 minutes per home goal this season.
261 – If there’s one thing the Red Bulls II are not, it’s afraid to take a chance at goal. With 261 total shots in their home contests, the Red Bulls II are averaging 21.75 shots per game at home this season. That’s more than 16 teams have total in that category so far this season, including the likes of Eastern Conference playoff contenders the Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Nashville SC, and almost to the league average of 266.61 total shots per team in all games. If you’re an opposing goalkeeper, you’d better be on your toes.
162 – It’s no secret as to how the Red Bulls organization aims to play and the high pressure the side creates has meant a bumper number of 162 Chances Created from Open Play in its home games according to Opta this season. That’s more than 17 teams in the league have created overall, including the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Saint Louis FC and Indy Eleven, as the likes of Andrew Tinari have led the way for the Red Bulls II’s high-pressure approach. Tinari has recorded 36 Chances Created from Open Play so far in New York’s home games, 11 more than his closest competition in that category, with Jared Stroud (21) and Brian White (17) joining him among the Top 15 in the league individually on home turf.
1,297 - Another area where Tinari leads the pack individually is Passes Completed in the attacking third of the field, where he has racked up 192 as part of a league-leading total of 1,297 completed passes in the opposition’s end. The Red Bulls II have company near the top of this number from North Carolina FC, which sits 34 passes back, but as we’ll see in our next two numbers there’s a marked difference in what New York accomplishes when it finds itself in position to strike in comparison to others around the league.
44 – Under Opta’s definitions, there are Chances, and then there are Big Chances, and no-one has created more Big Chances than the Red Bulls II on home turf. Defined as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score usually in a one-on-one scenario or from very close range, New York has created 44 Big Chances, on which it has scored 24 times, seven more than its closest competition in that category. Only five teams have recorded more Big Chances overall than the Red Bulls II on their home turf, and as often as New York serves up chances on a platter for its players, it makes it no surprise that seven players have scored multiple goals for the side this season.
6 – For the Red Bulls II, when the goals rain, they pour. There have been six instances this season where the side has recorded at least four goals in a game on home turf – which is half of the club’s home games so far this season – including five-goal outings against the Charleston Battery, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Richmond Kickers, and a six-goal display against ATL UTD 2. In comparison, the second-leading scorer in the league this season – Eastern Conference leader FC Cincinnati – has notched four goals in a game three times this season, while only seven teams outside of New York have had at least one game with five goals or more.