NYRB II scored two goals in the last 15 minutes to secure a 2-0 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Most of the game languished at 0-0, which no matter what your friends tell you, is not a fun soccer score. NYRB II controlled possession for much of the game and managed to adjust to the humidity after a rain storm.
NYRB II featured the same lineup as last week, except new signing Devon "Speedy" Williams subbed in for defensive midfielder Dan Metzger. The team started the match pressing high, which is their signature style, and worked hard to gain possession early.
Then... the match just played out for the first 75 minutes. Neither team could break through each other's defense, and both teams traded a few chances.
Finally, 75 minutes in, a broken play for NYRB II led to the ball being fed to Stolz near the edge of the box, and the MLS 2015 1st round pick blasted it in the back of Harrisburg's net. It was Stolz's third goal of the season.
After breaking through Harrisburg's back line, Dan Bedoya added a second for NYRB II, the first for the former academy product.
NYRB II is now 7-7-4 for the season, and moves back into the top 6 for the Eastern Conference with this win.
1. Santiago Castano's maturation
Early in the season Santiago Castano would come off his line as a crutch. Now he picks his spots much more carefully. There was a play late in the first half where where a Harrisburg player broke through NYRB II's backline. Castano came out, played the breakaway patiently, and made a great save to clear the ball away. Earlier this season Castano would have come out because he was not confident enough to make another move. The time with the USL team has really shown that the 20 year old homegrown keeper can improve by leaps and bounds. He's making the subtle differences that the team is looking for. Castano is still blocked by Luis Robles, but NYRB II is developing him in a way the MLS reserve league never would have.
2. It is hot and humid in July
This was one of those games that was probably not fun to play in. It rained right before kickoff, and was over 90 degrees to begin with. I don't blame NYRB II for spending much of the match just trying to control play and wear out their opponent. It worked.Today was not a pretty win for NYRB II but it still worked.
3. Could be scoring more
Ever since Anatole Abang has made his way to the first team regularly, NYRB II has lacked a pure striker. Chris Tosnis has done a good job up front, but he is not the decisive striker this team needs. A true number 9 would go a long way on this team, given how good they are at controlling possession. NYRB II just added Devon Williams to its ranks, could a striker be coming soon?