The New York Red Bulls II extended their hot start to the season, winning their third straight match against upstarts, Hartford Athletic. The win pushed NYRBII to the top of the Eastern Conference.
NYRBII rotated the squad heavily for the match. Four MLS players and two USL debutantes started for John Wolyniec’s side. Derrick Etienne Jr., Anreas Ivan, Kyle Duncan, and Ryan Meara filled in from the MLS side. Kyle Zajec and Preston Kilwein earned their first starts with the club. Overall, a total of seven players rotated into the squad following Saturday’s win over the Charlotte Independence.
Despite the MLS loanees, it was the USL players that made the difference on the night. Tom Barlow continued his goal scoring exploits, while Jared Stroud added a goal and an assist on the way to a 4-0 victory.
The first half featured some sloppy play from the heavily rotated lineup, but NYRBII still created dangerous chances moving forward. Tom Barlow looked up for the challenge, coming close a few times, but ultimately failing to score.
NYRBII opened the scoring in the 53rd minute, capitalizing on a goalkeeping mistake from John Kempin. Kempin left the net to close down Tom Barlow, streaking in alone on a lofted through ball. Kempin reached the ball before Barlow, slide tackling it away. As Kempin got back to his feet, Stroud ran onto and chipped the loose ball, scoring on the open net for his second goal of the season.
Tom Barlow extended the lead in the 64th minute. Following a corner kick, NYRBII broke out on the counter. Hartford struggled to get back, leaving a five on one rush against the Hartford defense. Barlow received the final pass from Stroud, and finished past Kempin for his 6th goal of the season.
Etienne Jr. piled on the score six minutes later. The play started down the right wing with Edgardo Rito. Rito slalomed past two Hartford defenders, making his way to the end line. When he ran out of real estate, he back heeled a pass across the six yard box, finding Etienne. Etienne powered the ball home for his second of the season.
Chris Lema added a fourth in the 89th minute. The ball popped out to Lema fort yards from goal. The midfielder lined up a shot, striking it close to the keeper. Kempin mishandled the shot, spilling it into the net.
Next up, the Red Bulls face another new USL team, Loudon United FC, and could extend their lead at the top of the table.
Photo by Juan Pena