Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II defense has been prone to its share of lulls this season, and Ottawa Fury FC roared back down the stretch. Ryan Williams’ 90th-minute penalty kick capped off Fury FC’s late rally for a 4-3 victory against the defending USL champions on Saturday at MSU Soccer Park. It marked NYRB II’s first loss at the facility. Ottawa had three separate leads, with Tucker Hume opening the scoring in the 14th minute and Sito Seoane placing a perfect shot inside the left post in the 51st minute. Michael Salazar, who set up Seoane’s goal, tallied an 87th-minute equalizer on the rebound, and Williams would follow a few minutes later with the winner. NYRB II 17-year-old Ben Mines tallied his first goal of the season for the go-ahead header in the 69th minute. That was preceded by a strong effort from Brandon Allen, who assisted a 20th-minute Junior Flemmings strike and converted a 56th-minute penalty kick for his sixth of the season. As has been the case many times this year, though, NYRB II’s offensive efforts were not enough to compensate for the defensive side of the ball. The Red Bulls II fell to 3-5-2 (11 points) overall and 3-3-0 at home (3-1-0 at MSU Soccer Park). Ottawa improves to 2-3-3 (9 points) overall and 2-2-1 on the road.
14’ – OTT – Tucker Hume
20’ – NY – Junior Flemmings (Brandon Allen)
51’ – OTT – Sito Seoane (Michael Salazar)
56’ – NY – Brandon Allen (penalty)
69’ – NY – Ben Mines (Vincent Bezecourt)
87’ – OTT – Michael Salazar
90’ – OTT – Ryan Williams (penalty)
#NYvOTT: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Ottawa put an end to a four-game winless streak, and offensively Fury FC had some good spells to work with in both halves. The direct style of play set the tone in the first 15 minutes, with Tucker Hume netting his first of the season in the 14th minute. Sito Seoane also had one of the prettier strikes of the match with a calmly placed long-distance shot in the 51st minute. He noticed NYRB II goalkeeper Evan Louro a tad too far off his line and found the left side of the frame to put it out of Louro’s reach. Though Ottawa’s defense had let things unravel, Fury FC stayed strong down the stretch and Michael Salazar’s rebound from the right of the box tied things up at 3-3. Then the winner came from Williams who needed to be spot-on with his right-footed shot as Louro anticipated correctly with the diving effort in the 90th minute.
2. NYRB II’s Ben Mines was brought in for Zeiko Lewis late in the first half, and the 17-year-old made his presence felt on several occasions Saturday. His first goal came on a set piece as Vincent Bezecourt delivered a free kick from the left side to the middle of the box. Fury FC’s marking was not up to the task as Mines – one of the shortest players on the pitch – had an unmarked header and made Ottawa pay, driving it into the back of the net for a 3-2 lead. Mines had a good scoring chance late in the first half, as well. Off of a Bezecourt cross from the right, Mines got inside his defender and one-timed from just outside the six-yard area. It took a massive reaction save from Ottawa’s Callum Irving to keep things level at 1-1 heading into the halftime break.
3. NYRB II’s defense has been suspect on a number of stretches in 2017. New York has now conceded 22 goals this year through 10 games – the most of any USL team. In comparison, the Red Bulls II conceded only 21 goals during their 30 regular-season matches during the 2016 season en route to their championship run. Coach John Wolyniec was forced to juggle his back line midway through the first half when left back Kevin O’Toole took a knock. Tim Schmoll was brought in at center back and Justin Bilyeu was pushed to the outside to compensate for the early move.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Michael Salazar, Ottawa Fury FC – Salazar scored a clutch equalizer in the 87th minute and set up Sito Seoane’s score early in the second half as Fury FC battled back for a big road win.
New York Red Bulls II vs. Charleston Battery – May 28, 2 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Richmond Kickers – May 27, 2 p.m. ET, TD Place Stadium