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No. 3 – Stories of the Year: Red Bulls II Charge to Title

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 12/29/16, 7:00AM EST


Record-setting season saw New York make history with USL Cup Final victory

Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II

The New York Red Bulls II had built a solid platform in their first season in the USL, claiming both their first USL Cup Playoffs berth and first postseason victory in reaching the USL Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2015. The club’s second season, however, saw the Red Bulls II make history as the first MLS owned-and-operated club to win the 2016 USL Cup Final.

They did so in record-breaking fashion, too. Led by Head Coach John Wolyniec, the Red Bulls II set single-season records for total wins (21), points (69) and goals (61). The side was particularly impressive on the road, where it notched 14 wins, and lost only once, in sweeping to the USL Regular Season Championship.

At the forefront was Homegrown standout Brandon Allen, who set a USL rookie record with 15 goals to earn All-League First Team and Rookie of the Year honors. The former Georgetown and Baltimore Bohemians striker then pushed on in the postseason, scoring a crucial 119th-minute equalizer against the Rochester Rhinos in the Eastern Conference Semifinals that allowed NYRBII to take a victory in a penalty shootout.

A shootout was needed to clinch the Eastern Conference Championship against Louisville City FC the following week, too, but then a hat trick by Allen led the Red Bulls II to a 5-1 win against the Swope Park Rangers, and the topper to one of the most impressive seasons in the USL’s history.

2016: Top Stories of the Year
No. 3: Red Bulls II Charge to Title
No. 4: Toros’ Hybrid Delivers
No. 5: Fury, Rowdies Make Move
No. 6: Forefront of VAR
No. 7: Fountain of Youth
No. 8: Music City Embrace
No. 9: Highlight-Reel Tallies
No. 10: International Flavor

Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II