Montclair, NJ (July 15, 2017) – The New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II (6-9-3) returned to MSU Soccer Park to face Charlotte Independence (8-3-4) on Saturday after coming off two straight 2-0 away defeats to the Harrisburg City Islanders and Bethlehem Steel FC. John Wolyniec’s men hoped to change things around and obtain a different result from their first game against Charlotte Independence back in May where they suffered a 5-1 defeat. At the guidance of Vincent Bezecourt, USL’s leading assister, but without their leading scorer Brandon Allen, who was recently loaned to MLS team, Minnesota United FC, NYRB II looked to finish a busy week of three games with a win at home.
In the first few minutes of the game both teams came out aggressive wanting to take control of the game early on. NYRB II looked to change things around with the recent disappointing results and Charlotte Independence hoped to maintain their good run and turn their five-game winning streak into a six-game streak. It wasn’t until the 3rd minute that NYRB II had their first opportunity of the game when Dan Metzger fired a longshot at the Charlotte Independence goal going wide. Later in the 15th minute Vincent Bezecourt conducted a great counterattack run to then pass it to Douglas Martinez who went one on one with Charlotte Independence goalie Cody Mizell who managed to get his legs in the way for a save.
NYRB II’s offense was pressuring Charlotte Independence early on and their defense featuring recently signed Noah Powder at left back did a great job controlling Charlotte’s deadly offense. Quickly in the 16th minute NYRB II threatened again when a low driven cross from Bezecourt ended in a first touch tap from Derrick Etienne going inches wide from the goal. When it all seemed like NYRB II had control of the game and that it was only a matter of time before they scored the opener, Jorge Herrera stunned and opened the scoresheet for Charlotte Independence in the 21st minute delivering a perfect execution of a free kick from a foul caused by Hassan Ndam. NYRB II goalkeeper Evan Louro, unable to react watched as the ball entered the net right by the right post to make it 1-0 for Charlotte Independence.
Due to the extreme high temperature that reached up to 90 degrees both teams were issued a water break in the 31st minute. In 45th minute Charlotte threatened once again when a shot by Enzo Martinez went wide. When it all seemed like NYRB II were going to go trailing behind 1-0 into the half, defender Hassan Ndam was unlucky to score an own goal in an attempt to clear a dangerous cross by Joel Johnson in stoppage time. NYRB II went down 2-0 into halftime, a score they’ve seen their last two games end in.
The second half brought in a NYRB II team that was determined to fight until the end after being unfortunate to go down playing a fairly well first half marked by numerous opportunities. Charlotte Independence however had other plans and in the 53rd minute made it 3-0 after a quick counterattack play where Austin Yearwood lofted the ball across the field to Herrera who delivered a first touch cross to Martinez to tap it past Louro.
Charlotte Independence, marked by their potent offense wasn’t done yet and in the 60th minute Martinez forced Ndam to a turnover, losing the ball and leaving a wide-open shot for Herrera, who shot well above goal. Charlotte nearly scored their fourth in the 72nd minute when Johnson rattled the post with a low driven shot assisted by David Estrada.
Once again teams were issued a water break in the 76th minute and when it all seemed like NYRB II were going to be held scoreless once again, David Najem opened the scoresheet for the home side in the 82nd minute curling in a shot to the right post to beat Mizell assisted by Florian Valot. Now trailing behind 3-1 with eight minutes left, NYRB II looked for the miracle and in the 85th minute substitute Junior Flemmings headed NYRB II back into the game making it 3-2 off a Bezecourt corner kick. NYRB II fought until the end, but were unable to score the equalizer and went down for the third consecutive game.
With this result NYRB II stand in the 10th position of the Eastern Conference Standings with a 6-10-3 record and 21 points.
NY Red Bulls II – David Najem (Min 82), Junior Flemmings (Min 85)
Charlotte Independence – Jorge Herrera (Min 21), Hassan Ndam (45+1, Own Goal), Enzo Martinez (Min 53)
New York Red Bulls II will be facing Toronto FC II (3-9-5) next Friday, July 21st at MSU Soccer Park with kick off scheduled for 7PM. This will be the first time they face this season.
New York Red Bulls II are going to miss Brandon Allen
Throughout the season scoring clear opportunities has been a problem for NYRB II, but for the most part Brandon Allen managed to put them behind the net. Allen is NYRB II’s leading scorer with nine goals in 15 appearances, but he has been loaned out to Minnesota United FC for the remainder of the MLS season leaving NYRB II without their scorer. In a game like todays marked by numerous first half opportunities Allen was missed and now NYRB II must find a new scorer to put the balls behind the net.
Three games in six days = 0 points
NYRB II played three games in six days, two away and one at home. The games were played in extreme temperatures and due to the closeness of the games, players were banged up leaving the bench shortened. As players said, there is no excuses and unfortunately NYRB II obtained zero points out of nine. Losses against Bethlehem Steel FC, Harrisburg City Islanders, and now Charlotte Independence put NYRB II in a tight spot.
MSU Soccer Park isn’t what it used to be
The New York Red Bulls II started their inaugural season at MSU Soccer Park well with three straight victories when playing at home, but they have now lost four games at Montclair. MSU Soccer Park has become an easy stop for visiting teams and NYRB II must make it the fortress it once was.