Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II have been the thorn in Louisville City FC’s side, but on Sunday, City FC changed the picture with its first win against the defending champions. Brian Ownby recorded a second-half goal and assisted Kyle Smith’s first-half strike as Louisville defeated the Red Bulls II 3-0 at MSU Soccer Park. Second-half sub Richard Ballard added a stoppage-time tally to put the game well out of reach. The match marked the first time NYRB II and City FC have squared off since the Red Bulls II earned a 4-3 shootout victory against Louisville on Oct. 16, 2016, in the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs, en route to winning the championship. With the win, Louisville improves to 6-1-4 (22 points) overall and 4-1-2 on the road. NYRB II falls to 5-6-2 (17 points) overall and 4-4-0 at home (4-2-0 at MSU Soccer Park).
25’ – LOU – Kyle Smith (Brian Ownby)
55’ – LOU – Brian Ownby (Paolo DelPiccolo)
90+3’ – LOU – Richard Ballard (Kyle Smith)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Louisville found out early on that going through Brian Ownby and attacking the left side of NYRB II’s defense was the key to gaining the upper hand. Ownby made a run in the 25th minute and dropped the ball off for Kyle Smith, whose right-footed shot snuck inside the lower left corner of the frame for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage. Then in the second half, Louisville found the net again, this time with Ownby finding a gap on the left side of NYRB II’s back line. Paolo DelPiccolo provided a deep pass to Ownby, who even stumbled a bit on his run, had time to regain his stride and slot it home for a 2-0 lead in the 55th minute.
2. After a slow start, the Red Bulls II generated a couple of optimistic chances in the 18th and 19th minutes. Vincent Bezecourt was the main catalyst on both attempts. His left-footed free kick, aimed for the upper left corner, was calmly saved by Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh. One minute later in the run of play, Arun Basuljevic drew a couple defenders, dished to Bezecourt on the right side of the box but the Frenchman once again couldn’t break past Ranjitsingh who made the low save to his right. Ranjitsingh finished the match with four saves for the clean sheet. NYRB II Head Coach John Wolyniec made some attack-minded changes in the second half, including Junior Flemmings in the 60th minute, but New York could not get its offense going.
3. Red Bulls II goalkeeper Rafael Diaz was in line to make his third start of the season, but he was scratched shortly before kickoff because of a dislocated finger. Homegrown Evan Louro, who has been the club’s regular starter for much of the season, had his customary start in net and ninth appearance of the campaign.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Brian Ownby, Louisville City FC – Much of City FC’s attack went through Ownby who posted a goal and assist to lead the club to its first win against NYRB II.
New York Red Bulls II vs. Bethlehem Steel FC – June 16, 7 p.m. ET, MSU Soccer Park
Louisville City FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds – June 17, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field