New York Red Bulls II were able to halt their three game losing streak with a 1-0 win against Toronto FC II.
Manager John Wolyniec make seven changes to the side that lost against Charlotte Independence last weekend. Rafael Diaz replaced Evan Louro in goal, while Ethan Kutler started at left back. Jordan Scarlett made his return from injury and started alongside Tim Schmoll at center back. Noah Powder started his second consecutive game at right back for the team. Two changes were made in the midfield as Andrew Tinari and David Najem started in place or Arun Basuljevic and Dan Metzger. Two changes were also made to the front four as Zeiko Lewis replaced Derrick Etienne and Junior Flemmings replaced the injured Douglas Martinez up top. Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt retained their spots with Valot moving up top alongside Flemmings.
There weren’t many chances created in the first 15 minutes despite NYRB II’s press frustrating Toronto FC II and giving the home team a lot of possession. They nearly took the lead in 22nd minute when Bezecourt’s cross found the head of Flemmings, but it went just over the bar.
A minute later Bezecourt was involved again as his strike from 30 yards out was well saved by Toronto FC II keeper Mark Pais.
NYRB II’s pressure would eventually pay off as they took the lead in the 27th minute. Flemmings flick put Bezecourt through on goal and he was able to slot it past Pais to give NYRB II a deserved lead.
NYRB II continued to push forward and could have grabbed a second goal as Bezecourt’s low cross from a corner found Lewis, but his effort went over the bar.
Moments later Valot had a great chance after another nifty flick from Flemmings put him through, but he shot straight at Pais and Powder’s follow up shot was deflected behind for a corner.
NYRB II’s press continued to cause Toronto problems and Kutler forced Pais to tip over after he blasted one on target.
NYRB II went into the half with a 1-0 and in control of the game despite missing some chances to increase their lead.
Toronto FC II came out better in the second half and had a chance to tie in the 57th minute as the ball came out Aidan Daniels, but he fired over. Minutes later Scarlett came up big with a clearance to relieve some of the pressure.
NYRB II continued to search for a second goal as Bezecourt and Flemmings combined well once again, but Pais made a big save to the former’s shot. Minutes later Lewis drove at the defense, but fired a shot straight at the Toronto FC II keeper.
One of the other bright spots for NYRB II this game was the return of Stefan Bonomo from athletic pubalgia surgery as he was subbed on for Lewis in the 72nd minute. It was his first appearance since the 2016 USL Cup Final.
Toronto FC II continued to push and had their best chance of the match as Brandon Onkony’s shot from distance was well saved by Diaz and Schmoll cleared the rebound behind.
Toronto FC II continued to try and find an equalizer, but NYRB II’s defense held firm and they were able to come away with the three points at home.
While Wolyniec was happy with a win and a shutout he said that the team could have put more into the game.
Obviously, the positive is getting the win at home and getting the shutout, but what's disappointing is that we put ourselves in neutral after we get the goal and don't continue to push in the way we want to. A lack of aggression and intensity especially in the second half was a bit disappointing. I am very happy that we got the win but at the same time, I felt like we could have put a lot more into it.
Scarlett was full of praise for the back four and felt encouraged that they’ll get better as the season moves along.
I think the communication was good. One of Tim's best attributes is his communication. He knows the system very well. At times when I tune out he goes, 'Jordan' and he gets me back going and I love that from him. Noah (Powder) is a very technical player. It's his second 90 minutes, and over time, he will get better. Ethan (Kutler) is working. He's understanding the right back position because he's not used to it. I think as we move forward in the season, we'll get better.
Wolyniec was also happy with what he saw from Scarlett in his first game back from injury.
Yeah, a small sample size. It's a little frustrating with the injury, obviously the first one, and the second one for certain reasons, but all signs for him are positive. I think you can see he struggled a bit fitness-wise today, maybe that with being out for a little bit and coming back straight away with 90 [minutes], it's not like he was out that long, but my initial thoughts on Jordan were very positive and those thoughts seem to come to fruition. Definitely a guy we are high on and getting higher on.
NYRB II will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to take on Louisville City FC. The game will take place on Saturday, July 29, at 7:30 pm.