Montclair, NJ (June 16, 2017) – The New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II fell 2-0 to Bethlehem Steel FC on Friday night losing their second consecutive match at MSU Soccer park by a shutout score. An early first half goal by Adam Najem, former Red Bulls Academy product and brother of NYRB II right back David Najem followed by a second half goal by Santi Moar paved the way for Bethlehem Steel FC to take three points from MSU Soccer Park. The loss brings NYRB II’s record to 4-3 when playing at MSU Soccer Park with an overall record of 5-7-2. NYRB II now stand in the fifth position of the Eastern Conference Standings with 17 points.
NYRB II returned to MSU Soccer Park seeking redemption for last week’s 3-0 loss to Louisville City FC and once the referee blew the whistle went right to it. Douglas Martinez, Honduras international and one of NYRB II’s latest incorporations had the first opportunity of the game when in the 3rd minute he performed a back-heel flick off a Bezecourt corne, but the shot went wide. NYRB II threatened and Bethlehem Steel FC responded with an early goal in the 5th minute when Adam Najem curled in a shot from inside the box to beat NYRB II goalkeeper Rafael Diaz assisted by Christopher Nanco.
After receiving an early goal NYRB II spent the remainder of the first half searching for the tying goal through the new front four composed of Junior Flemmings, Vincent Bezecourt, Florian Valot, and Douglas Martinez, who was starting his first game as a NYRB II player. Immediately after the goal in the 8th minute NYRB II had an opportunity when a Valot cross led to a Bezecourt header going above. In the 17th minute Bezecourt threatened Bethlehem Steel FC’s goalkeeper Jake McGuire once again when a slow rolling cross by Flemmings ended in a left footed strike by Bezecourt being saved by McGuire.
NYRB II continued its pursuit in the 27th minute when left back Justin Bilyeu fired a shot from outside the box going wide and above. Again, Bilyeu added on to the attack in the 35th minute after Valot performed a meg on a Bethlehem player to get enough space to send a cross to Bilyeu who headed the ball wide. Perhaps one of the clearest first half opportunities for NYRB II was in the 40th minute when a Dan Metzger cross ended in a Valot header hitting the crossbar followed by a rebound hitting the outside net. Through having dominant ball possession and numerous opportunities NYRB II went into halftime trailing behind 1-0.
During the second half, NYRB II had one goal in mind and it was to continue attacking and eventually score the equalizer, but Bethlehem Steel FC had other plans and in the 57th minute Santi Moar put the visitors ahead 2-0. Adam Najem provided the assist chipping the ball over the NYRB II defense to Moar who chipped it over Diaz.
NYRB II continued searching for their first goal of the game and in the 67th minute David Najem fired a close-range shot assisted by Arun Basuljevic being saved by McGuire. Though NYRB II had dominant ball possession and numerous opportunities to score they were unable to resulting in the final score being a 2-0 defeat.
NY Red Bulls II –
Bethlehem Steel FC- Adam Najem (Min 5), Santi Moar (Min 57)
New York Red Bulls II will be facing Ottawa Fury FC next Saturday, June 24 at TD Place Stadium with kick off scheduled for 2PM. This will be the second time they face this season with the first game taking place on Saturday, May 20 at MSU Soccer Park resulting in NYRB II’s first defeat at their new home by 4-3.
New front four of Flemmings, Bezecourt, Martinez and Valot was dangerous, but not lethal.
Throughout the game, NYRB II’s offense made great plays connecting great passes resulting in many shots on target, but were unable to put one in. This is the second game where they lose by a shutout and scoring goals has now become a problem.
New York Red Bulls II have a new problem
One of NYRB II’s main problems throughout the season has been closing games and it has resulted in disappointing defeats and in hard fought results being lost. It seems like NYRB II now have a new problem, they haven’t scored a single goal in their last two games.
MSU Soccer Park has become an easy stop for visiting teams
The New York Red Bulls II started their inaugural season at MSU Soccer Park well with three straight victories when playing home, but now are struggling having lost three games at Montclair. Not only have they lost at home three times, but two of those losses have been shutouts.
Najem vs Najem
David Najem of NYRB II faced his brother Adam Najem, product of Red Bulls Academy and current Bethlehem Steel FC player. The winner was Adam Najem who had an excellent game scoring a goal and providing an assist for the second goal.