Match Recap

APRIL RECAP: NYRBII Cap off April with Three Match Unbeaten Streak during Inaugural Season in MLS NEXT Pro

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In what was the first full month of action in MLS NEXT Pro for New York Red Bulls II, the squad has kicked off their campaign on the right foot. New York posted a 2-1-2 record and tallied 10 points in the Eastern Conference standings for the month of April.

Here are the highlights:


After a disappointing result against Crown Legacy FC in a 3-1 loss, New York looked to bounce back at MSU Soccer Park. Fellow expansion side Huntsville City FC came to Montclair similarly searching for their first win in MLS NEXT Pro, and the two squads were clearly hungry for three points.

The first half of the match was all Red Bulls II, with chance after chance from close range while dominating possession. As Huntsville began to settle in, the brilliance of A.J. Marcucci was shown, with the keeper making crucial saves to keep the match level.

While the defending and performance of Marcucci were great, the story of the match came from Panamanian Forward Ricardo Gorday. In his first professional start, Gorday was clearly on a mission to show his talent with the opportunity that he was given. The forward had shot after shot in the first half and was eventually able to break through in stoppage time.

With Huntsville controlling the ball at midfield, Red Bulls Academy product Erick Ruiz saw an opportunity to take control of possession and initiate a counterattack. After some great work, the midfielder found forward Oladayo Thomas in space driving towards goal. Thomas then threaded the ball through the Huntsville defense to find Gorday, who made a slick cutback move on the endline and tucked the ball away in the side netting past the Huntsville keeper.

This was the first professional goal for Gorday, as well as the first professional assist for Oladayo Thomas. The goal was enough for New York to claim the victory thanks to a great showing from the defensive line and keeper A.J. Marcucci.

Having experienced two draws and a loss in their first three matches in MLS NEXT Pro, New York Red Bulls II finally were able to grab that elusive first win against Huntsville City FC.

WIN NO. 100

Coming into the match against New England on April 21st, New York had just won their first match of the season, which was win number 99 in the club’s history. With the chance for history there, the II’s traveled to Foxborough to try and secure the 100th win in the club’s ninth season.

The defense showed up almost immediately, with new signing Juan Gutierrez helping hold down the back line and limit the Revs’ chances. However, the chances that did get through for New England were no match for goalkeeper A.J. Marcucci.

In what was quickly becoming a common theme throughout the season, Marcucci had a fantastic performance in net against New England. His ability to make close range saves was a main reason as to why New York were able to keep Revs II off the scoresheet for the match.

With their keeper was making save after save, the Red Bulls II attack finally had their best chance of the match in the 75th minute.

Ibrahim Kasule made his way down the field to try and break through the defensive line with the score still level at zero. As soon as he entered the box, the Ugandan was able to draw a foul and secure a penalty kick for New York. Oladayo Thomas stepped up to take the penalty, and looking to score his first professional goal, he slotted the ball in the bottom left corner past the diving hand of the New England keeper.

That goal ended up being the difference for New York, as the squad held the clean sheet for the second consecutive match. In a history that includes some monumental victories, Red Bulls II were able to create even more in the month of April during the club’s new chapter in MLS NEXT Pro.


April was a kind month for the Westchester, PA native AJ Marcucci, as he racked up the stats and clean sheets in net for New York. Starting in all five matches, Marcucci was a force in net and faced incredibly tough chances, but he proved that he was up to the task.

Barring the match against current Eastern Conference leaders Crown Legacy FC, Marcucci only allowed one goal in four matches. While he has been fantastic all season, his recent run of form has been the most impressive for the keeper.

Starting in Huntsville, Marcucci tallied four saves to secure the club’s first victory in MLS NEXT Pro. It was more of the same five days later in New England, as the keeper showed exactly why he is top at his position in the entire league. He notched six saves in that contest, with two of them being highlight-reel worthy in the dying minutes of the match.

His best match was arguably the most recent. Against Chicago Fire FC II, it seemed as if there was no chance of any ball getting past Marcucci. He tied his single match high in saves with seven on the night, having reached that mark two previous times in 2021.

As of now, Marcucci leads the league with three clean sheets and is in the top three for best save percentage. The keeper helped the club achieve those three consecutive clean sheets for the first time for the club since 2016.