New York Red Bulls II won their first game at the newly renovated Montclair State University Soccer Park against Charlotte Independence by a score of 4-2.
Manager John Wolyniec was left with a squad similar to the previous weekend with some of the senior team players away on international duty. Evan Louro started in goal. The back four had one change to it with Jordan Bailon making his first start with NYRB II in place of Lucas Stauffer. Wahab Ackwei and Kevin Politz partnered again as the center backs while Niko de Vera started on the left. Chris Lema and Cristian Cásseres started in the central midfield once again. The front four had one change with Jose Aguinaga replacing Andrew Tinari in the “10” role. Jared Stroud started on the right, with Amando Moreno on the left. Brian White was the lone striker.
Both teams looked to grab the opening goal early and Bailon had to head away a dangerous cross to prevent a good chance for Charlotte.
Moreno had a good chance to give NYRB II the lead after Cásseres had found him with a through ball but was adjudged offside.
Charlotte would be the first team to strike as Alex Martinez’s cross came all the way through to Cordell Cato at the top of the box and the midfielder’s shot went off the post and in to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead.
NYRB II wouldn’t have to wait long for an equalizer. Aguinaga’s shot was saved by Andrew Dykstra but Stroud was able to find Moreno and the forward’s shot went off the post and in the tie the score at 1.
Both teams continued to press each other for a second but went into the break tied 1-1.
White had a chance to give NYRB II the lead, but he couldn’t direct his near post header from a corner on goal.
At the other end Louro came up with a big stop to deny Cato his second of the game a few minutes later.
NYRB II would take the lead in the 58th minute. After Lema’s corner was ruled to have been handled in the area, Cásseres stepped up and converted the penalty which was his first as a a member of NYRB II.
Woylniec then made a change as he sent on Tinari for Aguinaga.
The midfielder made an immediate impact as he scored seconds after coming into the game. After he stole the ball, Tinari’s flick found White and the striker found Stroud who crossed for Tinari to tap into an empty net.
Stroud nearly added to the lead minutes later, but his left footed effort rattled the crossbar and stayed out.
NYRB II continued to create chances and were able to grab a fourth in the 74th minute. A poor clearance from Charlotte allowed Stauffer who was subbed on for Bailon minutes earlier to volley past Dykstra.
Stroud praised the style as the reason why NYRB II have had so much success in the second half this season.
I think it’s part of the way we play. We wear teams down, we run a them, high press them, they can’t handle it. In the first half they were a little more fresh and I think with our fitness as we continue to push against teams it becomes easier for us in the second half. More goals, more chances, at times we will give up one or two chances, but at the end of the day if we creating chances we can push teams.
Charlotte would grab one back late on after Politz had taken down Jorge Herrera in the box and the striker converted the penalty to get his team within two.
Ultimately once again a strong second half from the baby bulls earned them another three points at home.
Had to turn up on ‘em in the second half pic.twitter.com/ErC9XVKPri— New York Red Bulls II (@NYRBII) June 10, 2018
Wolyniec gave a lot of credit to his team for dealing with the problems Charlotte presented and their response after conceding first.
Charlotte has been a good team over the last month and it was a tough challenge because they’re a technical team, they move the ball around, they rotate. They make themselves tough for opposing defense to deal with so credit to our guys for getting after it even though there were some problems presented at them. Obviously to take the first goal and get it right back so credit to our team. As much as the story could be about the second half I think the story should be about the response after the first goal in the first half because that’s a big play.
Wolyniec was also impressed with his backline and how Ackwei and Bailon played.
Wahab is doing great. For the time has was out there he was very engaged, very active, was good on the ball, did a lot of stuff we asked for tactically in the back. Jordan Bailon at right back did the same. It’s not easy for an academy kid, but for a young guy to come in and play significant minutes against Martinez who’s a good player. It wasn’t an easy task and I have to give him a lot of credit too.
NYRB II will look to earn their first road win of the season when they travel to take on Pittsbugh Riverhounds next weekend. The game will take place on Saturday, June 16, at 7:00 pm.