It finally happened. In the sixth year of their existence, the New York Red Bulls II dropped their home opener for the first time in their history, and it came against two former NYRBII players.
The new look NYRBII lined up against two former teammates, Evan Louro, and Jordan Scarlett. The long time NYRBII players both signed for the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the offseason, and both players featured prominently in the match. The familiar sounds of both players commanding voices filled MSU Soccer Park once again. Also Forrest Lasso also joined the Rowdies backline this season, creating a physical presence the younger smaller NYRBII side struggled to play against.
NYRBII also featured a handful of newcomers. Mandela Egbo earned his first minutes of the season since signing with New York. After missing most of preseason, Egbo slotted in comfortably at right back, and showed well. Roy Boateng started the match after missing most of last season due to injury. He left the match in the first half injured again. Hopefully the injury proves less severe and the young center back is back on th pitch soon.
Despite a late push, NYRBII fell 1-0 to the Rowdies.
In the 57th minute, the Rowdies opened the scoring after creating chaos in the box. NYRBII defense failed to clear the ball, and Leo Fernandes chipped in his shot to the far post. The goal was only one of three shots on net the visitors managed on the day.
NYRBII found more of the match in the second half, but struggled to put meaningful shots on target. Their best chance of the match came from second half substitute Sebastian Elney. Elney rose to reach a cross inside the six yard box, but Evan Louro did well to react and make the save.
Next up, NYRBII return to MSU Soccer Park to face Hartford Athletic on Friday, March 13th.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography