Montclair, NJ – New York Red Bulls II undefeated in five matches, took on a desperate Atlanta United 2 squad who hasn’t seen a victory in its last four games.
Rashid Nuhu started in place of regular Evan Louro due to squad rotation.
The pace was as blistering as the heat. But then in span of three quick minutes, the hosts broke through. Starting with Chris Lema’s second goal of the season in the 19th minute. Jared Stroud’s goal in the 21st minute followed. Before anyone caught their breath, Sean Nealis scored his 2nd goal of the season to put the Red Bulls up by three.
However, they kept scoring. Shortly after a quick hydration break, Jared Stroud scored his second goal of the match and ninth of the season in the 49th minute to make it 4-0, New York.
ATL2’s penchant for playing from the back allowed the Red Bulls to pick up where they left off in the second half. Chris Lena picked up his second goal of the game in the 50th minute.
NYRBII’s forwards and midfielders attacked and danced around the ATL2 defense seemingly at will. John Tolkin got tackled in the box, earning a penalty kick. Marcus Epps stepped up, and slotted home the sixth goal of the game from the penalty spot.
However, they were still not done.
NYRBII pressed hard in ATL2’s half of the field, forcing turnovers that led to scoring chances. Chris Lema picked off a bad pass from Dylan Castanheira, and scored his third goal of the match unassisted in the 63rd minute.
Jackson Conway finally scored one for ATL2 in the 65th minute, erasing the clean sheet for Rashid Nuhu.
ATL2 finished the match with ten men. Luiz Fernando Nascimento left the match after picking up two yellow cards in the 70th minute. The red card cemented a disastrous afternoon in the searing sun.
Chris Lema capped NYRBII’s goal rush in the 85th minute, scoring his fourth of the match. The eight goals scored by NYRBII broke a club record for goals scored in a match. They fell one goal shy of tying the USL record.
Man of the Match
Chris Lema’s four goals were the story of the afternoon as New York Red Bulls II broke its goal-scoring record that they set last season.
Honorable mention: Rece Buckmaster with his first assist and Jared Stroud scoring two quality goals in the match.