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New York Red Bulls U23s beat GPS Portland Phoenix, advance to Eastern Conference Final

One down, three to go.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls U23s advanced to the Eastern Conference Final of the Premier Development League playoffs after defeating the GPS Portland Phoenix, 4-0, at NJIT Stadium in Newark, New Jersey. Joe Swenson (Red Bulls Academy/UConn) stepped up and contributed a goal and an assist to lead the charge against the visitors from Maine.

After 45 minutes of scoreless play, Swenson opened things up in first half stoppage time. Zach Knudson (PDA/NC State) doubled the lead in the 52nd minute followed by Chris Lema (Red Bulls Academy/Georgetown) putting the match out of reach in the 63rd minute. Joe Farrell (FC Delco/La Salle) added an insurance goal in the 66th minute to close out proceedings.

The Baby Bulls had a penalty attempt saved in the 76th minute, which is probably good because they needed to save some goals for future matches.

The Baby Bulls play hosts Jersey Express in the final today at 5:00 p.m.; the last time these two teams played, the U23s won 3-1. The winner of the Eastern Conference Championship advances to the league's final four which will take place next weekend at a host site that has yet to be determined.

Once a Metro will have a full match preview up later at around 1:30 p.m.

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Jared Stroud (PDA/Colgate) was named to the PDL Team of the Week for Week 12. He scored two goals and assisted on three others in the Baby Bulls' 10-0 win over Westchester. Zach Knudson and Brian White (PDA/Duke) were given Honorable Mention status.