HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Penn FC (6-6-8) continues its lengthy road trip with a matchup against fifth place New York Red Bulls II (8-6-8) Friday, Aug. 3.
Both teams head into the match coming off draws on the road. Rush Soccer’s First Team earned a hard-fought draw at Charlotte after Aaron Dennis opened his account with a late equalizer in the second half.
The matchup on Friday holds potential playoff implications, with both teams on opposite ends of the Eastern Conference mid table cluster. Though eight places apart on the table, the teams are only separated by six points. Penn FC also has two matches in hand over NYRB II.
Points away from FNB Field are crucial for the Blue and White. Friday marks the third of seven straight away matches, and Penn FC has stepped up on the road in recent weeks — earning points in four of its last five road matches.
Head Coach Raoul Voss and his men will take any chances to climb up the table away from home before the team ends the season with the nine match Homestretch.
“First of all we have to stay connected before we go to The Homestretch,” Voss said. “This homestretch we are going to be able to make up a lot of points there, and we have to make sure we stay connected to the playoff spots. So we’ll try to get as many points as possible.”
Penn FC’s defense will be busy Friday night as New York head into week 21 as the league’s highest scoring team. Led by midfielder Amando Moreno’s nine goals and forward Brian White’s eight goals, the Red Bulls have found the back of the net a total of 46 times so far this season.
Defenders Ken Tribbett and Kyle Venter contribute greatly to Penn FC’s sturdy defense. The Blue and White have only conceded 25 times this season, placing the club amongst the top defenses in the league.
“They are going to attack from minute one to minute 90, so us being alert and switched on to our opportunities are going to be crucial for us,” Venter said. “I have full confidence in our team to go in there and get the job done.”
Considering the parity within the Eastern Conference, point swings in matches like this will prove pivotal moving forward.
Kickoff for the match on Friday is set for 7 p.m. and can be watched on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Penn FC returns to FNB Field Saturday, September 8th to take on Atlanta United 2, kicking off the season-ending Homestretch. Tickets are available at pennfc.com/tickets.