NYRB II Win in Penalties to Advance to USL Championship Game

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

HARRISON, N.J. – New York Red Bull II advance to their first USL Championship appearance following a shoot out victory over Louisville City FC on Sunday night.

The game was tied 1-1 headed into extra time with both teams losing players to red cards before penalties decided the match.

“I wish there was another word for ‘more proud’ than proud,” said John Wolyniec after the game when discussing his feelings on his team’s achievement. “The group has been great. The guys have poured so much into it. They certainly like to make it interesting.”

And interesting it was as Louisville City commanded the game during the first half and opened the scoring with a goal from Paco Craig. New York was forced into bad passes and rushed plays, looking very unlike themselves through the first 45 minutes. It wasn’t until near the end of the half that they began to solidify their own possession, setting the stage for a second half comeback.

Florian Valot equalized the game off of a Vincent Bezecourt freekick in the 74th minute. The freekick maestro put a ball into the box that found Valot’s head perfectly. To that point, New York’s efforts had been turned away by Louisville’s keeper Ranjitsingh. However, an injury pulled the starter in the 52nd minute, bringing in the inexperienced Dobrowolski. Despite the goal, Louisville would hold tight defensively, forcing New York into extra time.

In the extra time period Louisville aggression cost them when both Sean Reynolds and Paco Craig were shown red cards. Devon Williams was also shown a straight red after an intentional foul. Both he and Tyler Adams also appeared to pick up injuries, forcing John Wolyniec to search for answers on the bench.

In the shootout, New York produced on both sides with Meara making two saves and the team converting all of their penalty attempts.

Now New York looks forward to next Sunday when they will host the USL Western Conference Champion Swope Park Rangers in the USL Championship game at Red Bull arena. That matchup will air on ESPNU.


New York Red Bull II: Meara; O’Toole, Long, Carroll (‘120 Simpara), Najem (‘105 Schmoll); Adams (’97 Williams), Metzger (’64 Plewa), Bezecourt; Etienne Jr., Valot (’96 Bonomo), Allen

Louisville City FC: Ranjitsingh (’52 Dobrowolski); Smith, Reynolds (’70 Kaye), Craig, Morad; Abend, Quinn; Darces, Davis IV (’80 Lubahn), Rasmussen (‘105 Newnam); Hoffman (’64 Lancaster)

GOALS:

11′ (Louisville City FC) Paco Craig
74′ (NYRB II) Florian Valot assisted by Vincent Bezecourt

DISCIPLINE:

‘102 (Louisville City FC) YELLOW CARD Paco Craig
‘104 (Louisville City FC) RED CARD Sean Reynolds
‘118 (NYRB II) RED CARD Devon Williams
‘120 (Louisville City FC) YELLOW CARD Paco Craig