Photo courtesy Mike Lawrence / New York Red Bulls II
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Andrew Tinari scored twice in the second half as the New York Red Bulls II rallied for a 2-1 victory against Toronto FC II on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena to open the 2018 USL regular season. Toronto took the lead in the 11th minute as Matthew Srbely seized on a pass by Liam Fraser to break through the Red Bulls II back line and calmly finish to the right corner and held the advantage to the break as goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo made a pair of big saves to deny Brian White inside the opening 20 minutes. TFC II had the chance to add to its lead in the 51st minute from the penalty spot, but Ben Spencer’s low shot was saved by NYRB II goalkeeper Evan Louro diving low to his right. Buoyed by the reprieve, New York applied more pressure and was rewarded in the 62nd minute when a low shot by Ben Mines redirected off Andrew Tinari near the top of the six-yard area and into the net. Tinari bagged a second 10 minutes later as he was picked out by Florian Valot arriving late in the penalty area for a first-time finish, and that proved the difference as New York took its sixth win in seven all-time meetings between the sides.
11’ – TOR – Matthew Srbely (Liam Fraser)
62’ – NY – Andrew Tinari (Ben Mines)
72’ – NY – Andrew Tinari (Florian Valot)
Three Things That Matter:
1. New York opened the second half aiming to get back on level terms, and attacked aggressively in the opening five minutes to put Toronto on its heels, but when TFC II produced a great counterattack to earn a penalty kick it seemed the chance the visitors needed to not only take a two-goal lead, but also try to take some of the steam out of New York’s sails. Instead, a great low save by Evan Louro, and another on a breakaway for Ben Spencer soon after, only added to the energy for the Red Bulls II. When Andrew Tinari’s deflected goal got the hosts back on level terms just past the hour-mark Toronto was unable to respond, and the hosts’ pressure earned a comeback victory.
2. TFC II had to absorb pressure in both halves from the hosts, but when it got forward there was a nice attacking edge that showed signs of improvement from a season ago, when the side struggled to find the net consistently week-in and week-out. Toronto may not have been able to come away with its first win against the Red Bulls II on Saturday, but there were positive signs that this side can produce more incisive passes in the attacking third and make itself a challenging opponent as the season goes on.
3. With a number of players making their professional debuts in Saturday’s game, most notably 2017 Premier Development League MVP Brian White, who stepped into the Red Bulls II starting lineup after starring for the Red Bulls U23 last summer. White’s day turned into a duel with experienced Toronto goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo, who managed to stymie the rookie’s best opportunities in White’s 83-minute debut. White should be happy enough with his debut, though, as he consistently put himself in good positions to take advantage of the service provided by Florian Valot and Andrew Tinari.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Andrew Tinari, New York Red Bulls II – Tinari notched both goals, but also put in a stellar second half that saw him record five key passes and carry a major workload in the center of the park.
New York Red Bulls II at ATL UTD 2 – March 24, 7 p.m. ET, Coolray Field
Toronto FC II at Charlotte Independence – March 24, 7 p.m. ET, Sportsplex at Matthews