Photo courtesy New York Red Bulls II
1. The New York Red Bulls II had to fight back twice to earn a 3-3 draw with Toronto FC II on Thursday night at MSU Soccer Park as the side once again dropped points at home as the race for the USL Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference once again tightened going into this weekend’s action. New York has now won just once in its last five games, drawing three times, as its position in seventh place in the conference standings became that little bit more precarious.
2. New York has had to make hay at home this season with a road record that has seen the side yet to take victory away from MSU Soccer Park this season. After going only 2-1-2 in its last five home games, the Red Bulls II are going to have to figure out a way to take points – and potentially victories – on the road over an upcoming four-game road trip. That sequence sees the side visit the Charlotte Independence, Nashville SC, North Carolina FC and Penn FC, all of whom have New York in their sights in the playoff race. It’s going to make for a major test of Head Coach John Wolyniec’s side down the final stretch.
3. Toronto FC II bagged three goals for a second consecutive game as Jordan Hamilton and Tsubasa Endoh both found the net again and Tim Kubel recorded his first professional goal for the visitors. With six goals in eight appearances this season, Hamilton continues to impress for the side, which will next head to face FC Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon with plenty to offer in the attacking end for a team that has been eliminated from playoff contention.
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II had to rally twice to earn a 3-3 draw with Toronto FC II at MSU Soccer Park, applying another dent to the club’s postseason aspirations. New York almost took the lead inside the opening minute as Jose Aguinaga fired just wide of the right post from 12 yards out, and Brian White had a close-range chance that he misconnected on inside the first 10 minutes after Andreas Ivan got into space down the right. The Red Bulls II took the lead in the 12th minute when Anatole Abang latched onto a lifted ball in behind the defense by Niko de Vera and rounded TFC II goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell and finished from the left side of the penalty area. Toronto leveled in the 23rd minute as Tsubasa Endoh tucked home a close-range finish from Jordan Hamilton’s low cross from the left to the top of the six-yard area, and the visitors then took the lead in the 36th minute as Tim Kübel put home the rebound of a shot by Endoh to the right corner that New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara did well to keep out, only to be beaten by the second chance. Three minutes later Ivan hit back for the Red Bulls II with a perfectly-placed finish to the bottom-left corner of the net, and New York almost regained the lead two minutes into the second half as White was denied from the left side of the penalty area by Patterson-Sewell, but Toronto went ahead just past the hour-mark as Hamilton capitalized after a good turn by Matt Srbely opened the defense to create the chance. The Red Bulls II almost hit back quickly again as White sent a finish past Patterson-Sewell only for TFC II defender Lars Eckenrode to recover and clear before the ball crossed the goal line, but White headed in his ninth goal of the season from a corner kick in the 68th minute to even the game. That would be the final goal of the contest, however, as neither side was able to break the deadlock in the closing stages.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jordan Hamilton, Toronto FC II – Hamilton produced a good assist to set up Endoh’s opening goal and then finished with aplomb for Toronto’s third on another good all-around night for the Canadian forward.