The New York Red Bulls II shook off two years of road futility, winning their first road match of the year against Charlotte Independence. Tom Barlow put in another big performance, extending his scoring streak to four straight matches, and contributing a brace in the 2-1 win.
NYRBII struggled to win matches on the road in 2017 and 2018, something that kept them in the lower end of the Eastern Conference standings as a result. In 2019, NYRBII is clicking early, and the road win points to a wholesale squad improvement. Overall, this is the best start for NYRBII in their young history, securing 10 of a possible 12 points.
NYRBII’s starting XI included Mathias Jørgensen, a surprise start following his first MLS start last week. The young striker has not found much playing time since arriving this offseason, and giving him playing time in USL is probably for the best. Jørgensen replaced Brian White in the squad for the week.
In the 25th minute, the Independence took the lead. Andrew Gutman drove down the left wing, and crossed the ball low to Niki Jackson. Jackson deftly flicked the ball into the far post past Even Louro. It was the first time the Independence scored the first goal in a match this season.
NYRBII leveled the match just seven minutes later. Marcus Epps sent in a cross from deep in the midfield. Barlow out-jumped his defender and looped his header over Brandon Miller. Barlow now scored in each of NYRBII’s games this season, including the game cancelled last week at Birmingham. Barlow then scored again in the 37th minute. This time it was a low cross from Jared Stroud finding Barlow in the middle of the box.
The second half saw both teams continuing open and exciting attacking play. Both Louro and Miller were called into action on several occasions, making big saves to maintain the 2-1 scoreline. Jørgensen nearly scored his first for the Red Bulls on a curling effort from the top of the box, but MIller’s diving save pushed the shot wide.
Next up, NYRBII return home for an extended home stand, facing the winless Hartford Athletic this Wednesday at MSU Soccer Park.
Man of the match
Tom Barlow continues to impress this season. Four matches played, five goals scored. Wolyniec can’t ask for more from the second year striker. If he maintains this scoring pace this season, it could be one for the record books.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography