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New York Red Bulls II lose, 2-0, drop season series to Bethlehem Steel FC

A poor defensive first half doomed Wolyniec’s men

Matthew Stith

New York Red Bulls II suffered a 2-0 loss to Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday, their second loss to them this season.

Manager John Wolyniec made three changes to the side that won against Saint Louis FC last weekend. Evan Louro replaced Rafael Diaz in goal, while Ethan Kutler and David Najem started again at right and left back. Tim Schmoll started in place of Jordan Scarlett alongside Hassan Ndam at center back. Arun Basuljevic and Dan Metzger started their fifth game in a row together in the midfield. One change was made to the front four with Zeiko Lewis replacing Florian Valot who started on the bench. Vincent Bezecourt, Brandon Allen and Derrick Etienne retained their spots.

Both teams started off the game looking for a way through and Bezecourt had a chance early on after he controlled a clearance and volley it on goal, but Bethlehem keeper Jake McGuire stopped the shot.

Bethlehem continued to show NYRB II how dangerous they were on the counter as Schmoll twice had to make crucial tackles to deny Chris Nanco. The Bethlehem forward rattled one off the crossbar in the 16th minute after getting some space in the box.

Bethlehem would take the lead a minute later and just like the first game Adam Najem would be involved. A quick counter saw Najem play Nanco in behind the defense and he beat Louro to give Bethlehem the lead.

NYRB II responded well as Lewis almost found Allen with a low cross, but McGuire was able to claim it.

Minutes later Bezecourt created a great chance after slipping past his man, but could only shoot straight at the keeper.

NYRB II would be punished for their missed chances as Bethlehem Steel added a second in the 31st minute. Santi Moar was able to get around Kutler in the box and lay one off to Fabian Herbers who fired it into the roof of the net to double the home team’s advantage.

Bethlehem almost added a third four minutes later as Moar found Anthony Fontana at the top of the box, but his shot went just wide.

NYRB II almost grabbed a goal before half after a nice combination for Etienne and Bezecourt, but Bezecourt was denied at the near post by McGuire.

Wolyniec tried to inject some life into the team as he sent on Douglas Martinez for Brandon Allen in what could have been Allen’s last game for NYRB II with his impending transfer.

NYRB II had a goal ruled out after Ndam had won a header from a free kick, but the referee said he had made too much contact with the keeper.

Louro had to be alert to deny another good opportunity from Bethlehem after a header from a cross found its way on goal.

NYRB II did create some half chances later on in the second half, but ultimately could not find their way through and lost 2-0 to Bethlehem for the second time in four weeks.

Wolyniec was not happy with the team after the loss and how they were outworked by their opposition.

Pretty sure we got outworked, out pressed, and out counter pressed. Just not a great effort from our guys top to bottom. It was disappointing.

NYRB II defender Tim Schmoll said the team had only themselves to blame and they need to execute better for their quick turnaround on Wednesday.

After playing them so recently then getting a chance to get a stab at them after a disappointing first run out at home. I really think we only have ourselves to blame and that is kind of the feeling in the locker room. It is not like we went out there and did exactly what we wanted to do and got beat. I think we just did not execute the simple game points that we put out before the game. First and foremost the back line has itself to blame, as leaders on the field I think we need to step it up as a back four to keep things tight and keep us in the game early. We need to let ourselves establish us as a unit in the game. As a full eleven out there, I think back to front we were a little incoherent. It is just the little details and that we were are most disappointed about because I think we really harp on those. We emphasize those and we know what we want to do on paper. I think it comes down to a collective attitude that we need to find and one that we change. Will get back on the training field, we have a quick turnaround. I think we are really excited to have another chance and correct those mistakes.

Schmoll said despite losing great players that the team isn’t much different from last year and they still have a good team.

I think clearly we say it all the time that we lost some experienced guys, but that does not mean we can't step up, to be honest I do not think there are many differences. I think we are right there. I am much more optimistic, we have a lot of quality. We lost a lot of great players and we know the names, but we still have a great group here and great solid group of guys that want to work together and get on that field together. Results like this our disappointing, and especially playing this team, for the second time in a short span of time. I really do not think that there are many differences. We have a great group of guys and a great staff. I think it is way more similar than different we just need to harp on the details and do what we can.

NYRB II have a quick turnaround this week as they will look to rebound in their next game against Harrisburg City Islanders. The game will take place on Wednesday, July 12, at 7:00 pm.