If Corey Hertzog is one thing after his time with USL Pro club Wilmington Hammerheads, it is confident.
The young striker re-joined the New York Red Bulls for training on Tuesday after having spent the last few months on loan with Wilmington, where he shone since May en route to earning All-League First Team honors. After joining the team in May, the 22-year-old Hertzog scored nine goals and had five assists en route to earning All-League First Team honors and coming within one game of a USL Pro Championship. And getting consistent minutes with the Hammerheads – and making the most of them – has done wonders for his morale.
“Just having that confidence that I can score goals and that I can play will really help me here and that’s what the loan experience did for me, it gave me that confidence back,” Hertzog told MLSsoccer.com. “That’s what will help me get to the [18-man gameday roster] and hopefully some time.”
Hertzog was a key figure in helping Wilmington sneak into the playoffs, and he also helped them pull off road upsets over the higher-seeded Richmond Kickers and Orlando City before they succumbed to the Charleston Battery in the title game.
“Our road record didn’t show very strong but we felt very confident going into the Richmond game, that we could get a win there,” Hertzog said. “Then we felt really confident going into Orlando with a different formation and pressuring them. Then we also had a road game in Charleston but unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
While Hertzog and Wilmington fell short of their goal this past Saturday in a 1-0 loss to Charleston, the striker returns to a New York team that has gotten deeper since he left due to the additions of Sebastien Le Toux and Tim Cahill.
Still, that does not change Hertzog’s goal of breaking into the Red Bulls’ rotation for the stretch run of the season.
“I think it was a great to choice for me to go on loan and get game experience and get my confidence back up,” said Hertzog. “Hopefully, I’ll bring it back here and have some good training sessions and maybe get some playing time.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.