The New York Red Bulls II finally vanquished Bethlehem Steel FC after nearly two years of dominance.
A number of first team players saw time for the Red Bulls in the match including Ryan Meara, Derrick Etienne, Ethan Kutler, and Fidel Escobar. Despite the first team firepower, it was the NYRB II regulars that made the difference on the night.
Moreno goal ends NYRB II drought against Bethlehem Steel
Etienne made the most of his 60 minute shift, scoring the opening goal in the 28th minute. A counter attack opportunity saw Brian White slip a perfect pass to the onrushing Etienne in the box. Etienne carefully placed a soft chip over Jake McGuire, rolling softly into the net.
The Red Bulls continued to create chances in the first half, but filed to score another goal. White, Etienne, Jared Stroud, and Andrew Tinari created significant danger for the Steel backline. To their credit, the Steel survived the constant pressure.
The final kick of the first half was an equalizer from the Steel. Following a handball at midfield, the quick restart saw Anthony Fontana get free down the left wing, firing a low shot to the far post. Ryan Meara could not get a hand to the shot. As the ball rolled into the net, the referee blew the whistle for halftime.
Each team traded blows throughout the second half, but the Red Bulls pulled ahead thanks to a 60th minute substitution. Amando Moreno entered the game and helped create a number of chances in his 30 minute shift. In the 78th minute, Moreno received the ball on the left flank on a pass from Chris Lema, cut back, and fired a right footed shot that curled past McGuire and into the net.
The win vaults the Red Bulls, 8-5-7 ,into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with an important match at FC Cincinnati on the weekend.
Man of the match
Cristian Casseres, Jr. – His name did not show up on the score sheet, but Casseres put on a display against the Steel. The midfielder is growing in confidence and ability each week, and it is easy to see why Jesse Marsch spoke highly of him. If he continues to improve, expect to see Casseres earning a first team contract in the offseason.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography