In the first game of New York Red Bulls II's second season the team left Red Bull Arena with a 2-2 tie against Toronto FC II. A Brandon Allen brace saw the home team recover from a 0-2 first half deficit to begin the USL campaign with a point.
New York controlled the game early on, mainly thanks to the stellar play of Sean Davis, but TFCII countered well in the 35th minute to take the lead. First team loanee Molham Babouli found Edwards who finished it off to make it 1-0. Then in the 45th minute an incomplete clearance led to NYRBII's defense getting caught flat footed and TFCII centerback Skylar Thomas scored to make it 2-0. The second half the game was more back and forth, as both team's saw a decent amount of possession and had probing attacks. In the 66th minute Derrick Etienne was fouled in the box cutting in from the right, allowing Brandon Allen to step up to the penalty spot. Alex Bono saved the initial attempt but was unable to control the rebound which Allen finished calmly. Then four minutes later, a deflected shot from close range saw Allen beat Bono near post, bagging his second of the game. The game would ultimately end as a tie as neither side could have the last word, with both goalies standing tall multiple times.
NYRBII: Meara; Powder, Carroll (Deeds 89'), Schmoll (Williams 62'), Long; Davis, Adams, Etienne, Muyl (Bezecourt 58'); Bonomo, Allen
TFCII: Bono; Bloom, Taintor, Thomas, A. Osorio; Mannella, James (Bouchard 92'), Daniels (Johnson78'); Babouli, Edwards, Bernal (Davis 73')
Zach Carroll and Brandon Allen aren't ready for the big time.
Brandon Allen scored two goals today, but in most other aspects of the game was unimpressive. He has still yet to improve majorly from his sensational freshman college season four years ago. He is a goalscorer, but if he is to make it at the MLS level then he will have to improve almost every other aspect of his game; not majorly but certainly substantively. With Ronald Zubar and Gideon Baah going down to injuries, it appeared to be draft pick Zach Carroll's opportunity to lose. However, on the day, Carroll was the least impressive player of the three to feature at centerback (Mason Deeds withheld as he was in the game for less than five minutes). He did fine, but never any better, and was beaten multiple times by TFCII players, in the tackle, with pace, in the air, and positionally. As the entire New York Red Bull brain trust watched on from the stands with their families, I doubt they were impressed with either player.
Noah Powder is an exceptionally exciting player.
Powder, one of two Red Bull's academy player to feature today, started the game at left back and played the entire 90 minutes. Even after earning a yellow in the 38th minute, Powder continued to grow into the game as it went on. At only 17 years old, his display was exceptionally impressive. Though not perfect, Powder was positionally sound, communicative with his backline and wing players, and added to the attack when possible. As the player graduates high school in a few months and has yet to commit to a school to play college soccer at, NYRBII could do much, much, much worse, than to offer Powder a two-year contract.
A NYRBII game is a great experience.
Today NYRBII played to 2-2 tie before a crowd of 374 at Red Bull Arena. On the surface that may not sound like all that exciting a weekend outing, but you'd be wrong. For only $10 ($8 for Red Members) one gets access to watch professional soccer, at a fantastic facility, with a close, intimate atmosphere. On a sunny Saturday afternoon like today, that's a really fun time. With general admission tickets and the upper bowl closed, there isn't a bad seat in the house. A few members of the South Ward chanting combined with soundtrack of the players, gives the game is a really fun, intimate experience you rarely have in today's professional game. If you have a free weekend, I'd highly recommend checking out a game.