New York Red Bulls II Starts Season with 2-1 Win over Toronto FC II

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Published March 21, 2018
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The Montclarion
NYRB II trail behind 1-0 and huddle up before the start of the second half. Cristian Inga | The Montclarion

The New York Red Bulls (NYRB) II opened the 2018 United Soccer League (USL) season with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC (TFC) II on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.

Due to renovations being done at Montclair State University Soccer Park – that include an addition of 1,500 seats, new locker rooms and new turf – NYRB II will be playing their first six home matches at Red Bull Arena and end with the final 11 at Montclair State Soccer Park. The 2018 opener at Montclair State will take place June 9 against Charlotte Independence.

A second half brace from Andrew Tinari brought back John Wolyniec’s men from trailing behind 1-0 in halftime due to a Matthew Srbely goal in the 11th minute. The win marks the first time NYRB II has won their season-opening match since the club was founded back in 2015.

NYRB II’s starting lineup featured four new faces after the club announced the signings of six players on Thursday. Niko De Vera, Tommy Redding, Steven Echeverria and Brian White were all making their NYRB II debut in a lineup that also featured eight continuing players as starters. From the start NYRB II looked well composed, connecting multiple passes and establishing ball possession, while TFC II relied on long balls.

In the 10th minute, TFC II broke the deadlock after Srbely dribbled past the backline to go one-on-one with Evan Louro and tapped it in giving the visitors the 1-0 lead. NYRB II responded immediately in the 12th minute when Florian Valot curled in a shot forcing TFC II’s Angelo Cavalluzzo to a diving save followed by another shot by Ethan Kutler which Cavalluzzo also denied, finishing in a double save.

Despite being denied twice in the same play, NYRB II kept searching for the tying goal in the 14th minute when a free kick executed by Valot finished in a Hassan Ndam header being tipped off toward goal by White forcing Cavalluzzo to another save. Three minutes later, Tinari delivered a cross into the box from the right flank to White, who headered despite being marked by two TFC II players, forcing Cavalluzzo to yet another save.

 

TFC II looked to double their lead in the 29th minute when Srbely slipped a pass to Ben Spencer who shot toward goal, but Louro denied Spencer with his legs. The Canadian team would look to increase their lead again just before the half when in the 40th minute after receiving a long ball, Ryan Telfer attempted to get around Louro with his shot hitting the side of the net.

The second half featured a NYRB II side that came out immediately looking to score the equalizer and eventually take the lead. De Vera came close to scoring NYRB II’s first goal of the season when in the 49th minute, he delivered a left-footed strike from inside the box going wide to the right post, assisted by Echeverria.

TFC II was awarded a penalty in the 50th minute after a late tackle from Redding to Spencer inside the box, and in the 51st minute, Louro saved NYRB II’s chances of tying the game when he denied Spencer’s penalty attempt. TFC II continued relying on long balls. In the 60th minute, they came close to securing the victory when a Telfer’s long ball made its way to Spencer who went one-on-one with Louro and was denied once again.

In the 62nd minute, NYRB II scored the equalizer when a De Vera cross hit the crossbar leaving behind a loose ball which Ben Mines shot and was deflected by Tinari who scored the team’s first goal of the season. After tying the game NYRB II pushed forward in search for the winning goal, delivering multiple crosses into the box of which White was unable to put behind the back of the net.

In the 72nd minute, Tinari once again came to the rescue and scored his second goal of the game after firing a first touch shot to beat Cavalluzzo’s dive, assisted by a low driven cross from Valot. NYRB II kept creating opportunities until the final whistle, but in the end, obtained the 2-1 victory to start the 2018 USL season.

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