Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II have never dropped three straight matches since joining the USL in 2015, and that trend will continue. NYRB II, coming off back-to-back losses, turned things around with a 3-1 victory against Orlando City B on Friday at MSU Soccer Park. Vincent Bezecourt did the brunt of the damage with a first-half stoppage time goal, an assist to Junior Flemmings in the 16th minute and a quickly taken free kick assist to David Abidor that caught OCB off guard in the 87th minute. Bezecourt has four goals on the season to move into sole possession of the USL goal-scoring lead. Orlando’s Albert Dikwa scored off of a Pierre Da Silva assist in the 34th minute, but OCB’s offense was held at bay for the remainder of the match. The game served as a rematch of the opening round of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. Eventual champion NYRB II defeated OCB 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. With the win Friday, New York improves to 2-2-1 (7 points). Orlando drops to 1-3-1 (4 points).
16’ – NY – Junior Flemmings (Vincent Bezecourt)
34’ – ORL – Albert Dikwa (Pierre Da Silva)
45+3’ – NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Justin Bilyeu)
87’ – NY – David Abidor (Vincent Bezecourt)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Vincent Bezecourt continues to be a driving force for NYRB II this season. On Friday, he moved into sole possession of the goal-scoring lead with his fourth of the campaign. Bezecourt gave the host side a much-needed boost heading into halftime, scoring in the third minute of first-half stoppage time to regain the lead at 2-1. The Red Bulls II were lurking outside the 18-yard box in the closing seconds of the half, and Justin Bilyeu’s through ball from the predominantly left-footed Bezecourt, who switched to his right and found the inside of the far left post.
2. OCB defender and captain Zach Carroll faced his former NYRB II side for the first time. He also received his 2016 championship ring from New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett before the match. Carroll almost had a scoring chance against his former team on a 22nd-minute header on a set piece. OCB’s offense instead was created in the run of play with familiar playmaker Pierre Da Silva leading the way. In the 34th minute, Orlando was playing with a man advantage as NYRB II defender Michael Murillo had exited with an injury. OCB took control against the 10-men Red Bulls II as Da Silva split a pair of defenders, crossed in from the left of the box and found Cameroonian Albert Dikwa for his second goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1. Da Silva is tied for the USL lead with three assists.
3. Seeing NYRB II striker Junior Flemmings back in the score sheet certainly had to be an uplifting moment for him and Head Coach John Wolyniec’s side. Flemmings missed the tail end of the 2016 regular season and the entirety of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs because of a knee injury, so he wasn’t able to make it on the pitch for the memorable championship run. Flemmings, who was second on that team with seven regular-season goals last year behind Brandon Allen’s 15, notched his first goal of 2017 on Friday night. He looked to be in strong form during the goal-scoring sequence in the 16th minute. Bezecourt served in a long-distance pass to Flemmings who then cut to his left. With two defenders in pursuit, Flemmings patiently waited for the right moment to slot the ball past OCB goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. for a 1-0 lead.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Vincent Bezecourt, New York Red Bulls II – Bezecourt notched his league-leading fourth goal and set up New York’s two others as the French talent continues to display his broad and effective skillset.
New York Red Bulls II at Rochester Rhinos – April 22, 6:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium
Orlando City B at Harrisburg City Islanders – April 18, 6:30 p.m. ET, FNB Field