MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – The New York Red Bulls II claimed the 2016 USL Regular Season Championship as Vincent Bezecourt and Noah Powder both scored twice in a 4-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Wednesday evening at Pucillo Field. The Red Bulls II took the lead in the 23rd minute when Bezecourt got past his man on the right side and broke into the penalty area before shooting low into the left corner. Harrisburg had a chance to equalize late in the first half, only for Jose Barril’s free kick from 20 yards to be comfortably saved by New York goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, but the City Islanders leveled less than a minute into the second half as a quick one-two between Cardel Benbow and Craig Foster set up Benbow for a low finish to the left corner. New York regained the lead just past the hour-mark as Bezecourt played in Noah Powder into the right side of the penalty area for a first-time finish, and Bezecourt added his second of the game off a beautiful through-ball by Florian Valot with 17 minutes to go. Powder applied the finishing touch with 11 minutes to go with a fiercely struck finish from the top of the penalty area.
23’ – NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Stefano Bonomo)
46’ – HAR – Cardel Benbow (Craig Foster)
62’ – NY – Noah Powder (Vincent Bezecourt)
73’ – NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Florian Valot)
79’ – NY – Noah Powder
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Red Bulls II’s seventh consecutive victory claimed the club’s first silverware in just its second season in the USL, as it moved out of reach of Louisville City FC with its USL record-tying 19th victory of the season. While Louisville could still reach 62 points with victory in its final three games, City can only reach 18 victories this season, leaving the Red Bulls II as the regular season champions with control over the first tiebreaker.
2. The Red Bulls II are also reaching rarified air in other areas when it comes to the USL record book. The side had already set a new high for road wins in a season prior to Wednesday night’s win, but it now needs only one point in its final three games to set a league record for points in a season, and three goals in its final three games to break Orlando City SC’s 56-goal mark set in 2014. The Red Bulls II’s combination of attacking talent and solid defensive work have been admirable throughout the season, and they’ll now have the chance to become only the third team in USL history to claim both the regular season title and league championship in the same season.
3. There was disappointing news for New York earlier on Wednesday with the announcement that Junior Flemmings would miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery just under a week ago. New York, however, is one of the teams in the USL equipped to deal with the loss of such an influential player, with Vince Bezecourt and Noah Powder putting in standout displays in Wednesday’s victory. The pressure of the Red Bulls II wore down a game City Islanders side in the second half, and swept them to another impressive win.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Vincent Bezecourt, New York Red Bulls II – Bezecourt recorded two goals and one assist to lead the Red Bulls II to a seventh consecutive victory, and the USL Regular Season Championship.
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Wilmington Hammerheads FC – Sept. 17, 7 p.m. ET, Pucillo Field
New York Red Bulls II at Rochester Rhinos – Sept. 10, 5:05 p.m. ET, Rhinos Stadium