Louisville City’s home win over the Birmingham Legion put City first in the East and at three straight wins coming off their bye week. Next up, the New York Red Bulls 2. The Baby Bulls might be the worst team in the league. They currently only have 6 points after 17 games and recently lost their head coach. LouCity played them earlier in the season and took home all three points on the road.
For the sake of your time, I’ll simply say that the NY Red Bulls 2 are near last in basically every statistical category. You can scope it out here, but it’s not a pretty picture. The fact that they are 7th for yellow card accumulation with 50 and first for red cards with six probably hasn’t helped anything. Long gone are the days of New York in the playoffs. When you line up their stats with Louisville’s, you are very likely looking at the best vs. worst this league has to offer.
O’Vonte Mullings, Jeremy Rafanello, and Jordan Adebayo-Smith are the “stars” on this struggling MLS 2 team. Mullings completes 1.8 successful dribbles per match (1st) and leads his team in assists (3) and player rating (6.85). Rafanello has bagged two goals and an assist, fires off the most total (3.1) and on-target shots (1.2) per match, and has created the most chances for his team (17). And finally, there is Adebayo-Smtih, who is the team leading scorer with a whopping three goals. Not exactly all-league players, but they are the best this squad has to offer.
FiveThirtyEight is giving NYRB2 an embarrassing 5% chance to win with LouCity given an 80% chance to earn all three points. The Baby Bulls are a prime example of what John Morrissey calls out in his latest Backheeled piece on how the MLS 2 teams are bogging the league down. Personally, I’m feeling quite confident that City will trigger a number of light shows ending with a comfortable win. They just need to make sure it doesn’t turn into another blown opportunity for points like Monterey Bay.
Be sure to check out my assessment of LouCity's performance the first half of the season (How's It Going Pt. 2) as well as my feature on Josh Wynder!