New York Red Bulls II snapped a two home game losing streak with a 1-0 win against Saint Louis FC on Saturday.
Manager John Wolyniec made five changes to the squad that drew against Ottawa Fury last weekend. Rafael Diaz replaced Evan Louro in goal, while Hassan Ndam returned to the team in the defense after his suspension. Jordan Scarlett and David Najem retained their spots, while Ethan Kutler replaced Justin Bilyeu who was placed on waviers this week. The midfield pairing of Arun Basuljevic and Dan Metzger remained the same for the fourth consecutive week. One change was made to the front four with Derrick Etienne replacing Douglas Martinez; Brandon Allen, Vincent Bezecourt and Florian Valot all started once again.
NYRB II started off the game well as they controlled the majority of possession and Derrick Etienne fired over early on.
Saint Louis had a good chance to take the lead in the 11th minute, but Sebastian Dalgaard couldn’t turn home a cross and only hit the side netting.
NYRB II continued to press forward as both Bezecourt had a shot blocked after being set up by Etienne. Etienne went close minutes later as his shot was also blocked away by former NYRB II Konrad Plewa.
A minute later NYRB II would take the lead. Bezecourt struck a free kick from about 30 yards out which was saved by Adam Grinwis, but Brandon Allen was there to put the rebound away for his 30th career USL goal to give NYRB II the lead.
NYRB II were forced into a change at the beginning of the second half as Tim Schmoll came on for Ndam.
Four minutes into the second half NYRB II had a big chance to double their advantage after Allen had played in Valot, but Grinwis made a great save to deny the forward.
St. Louis started to grow into the game in the second half and they had a golden opportunity to tie the game after Jose Angulo was found alone at the back post, but Diaz made a great reaction save to deny him.
Both teams continued to push late on and Etienne tested Grinwis with his left foot and substitute Junior Flemmings’ header just went over the bar.
Saint Louis had their best chance to even up the score when Octavio Guzman found some space and fired a shot from outside the box, but it hit the post.
NYRB II would see out the rest of the game to earn the win.
Wolyniec was happy with his sides performance, but felt that the team could have been sharper in some areas.
Everybody on the team did a lot as far as winning second balls and putting a lot into the game and running and pressing in a good way, so that helps everybody, so when everybody's contributing we start to have performances like this. I give some credit to Jordan (Scarlett) for sure, the two games that he's started, I think he's been pretty solid. But we still had some cracks, we were a little lucky in the end not to give up a goal in a couple instances. I wish on the day we were just a tad bit sharper and obviously I'd like to see us get the second goal because I think we did enough to deserve it. But in a 90 minute game if you don't finish your chances then you leave yourself out there at the end to the bounce of the ball so to speak. I think we were a little fortunate but that doesn't take away from the fact that we got a shutout at home and put a lot into the game from everybody.
Jordan Scarlett said that although the team has been struggling he thinks they are headed in the right direction.
We had been struggling all season you know. Last season that team really put a very heavy weight on their jersey, so now we gotta get back to winning ways. Try not only to replicate what they do but play our own style of football and just keep doing what we're doing. Fight through, last game we came close but you know we gave up one goal in 15 seconds but today we really saw it through so I think we're making progress in the right direction.
The defender who missed 3 months due to injury said he is happy to be back on the field with his teammates.
I feel very passionate you know, three months out that isn't easy but I'm slowly building my confidence back, I'm open to keep getting 90 minutes and see where it goes from there.
NYRB II will look to build on their win next week when they travel to Goodman Stadium to play Bethlehem Steel FC. The game will be on Sunday, July 9, at 5:00 pm.