MONTCLAIR, N.J. (August 10, 2023) - New York Red Bulls II (12-7-5, 44 pts.) come out on top in second matchup of the year against Atlanta United 2 (7-12-5, 27 pts.), 4-2, at MSU Soccer Park. Headed into the match, New York was looking to gain more ground in the final push for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.
The match started off slow, with few chances in the final third that didn’t result in any goals on the scoresheet. It wasn’t until the 18th minute that the floodgates opened, and goals began to pour in.
Atlanta made their mark on the match first, when Nick Firmino sent home a rebound to add to his golden boot campaign with his 14th goal of the season. While the visitors had the first lead of the match early, New York responded almost instantly with the equalizer.
In the 20th minute, just two minutes after conceding, Wiki Carmona threaded a pass through the middle of the field to Ibrahim Kasule, who gathered, turned, and ripped a shot from outside the box for his 12th goal of the season. The assist was Carmona’s first of the year and just the beginning of the Venezuelan’s impressive night.
Eight minutes later, New York struck yet again, with Carmona adding another assist to his match tally. This time, he played a perfect cross into forward Frank Ssebufu, who headed the ball home to take a 2-1 lead just ten minutes after being one-nil down. Ssebufu notched his seventh goal of the year as he maintained his spot for the second most on the club this season.
New York and Carmona would continue their first half onslaught, with the midfielder getting on the scoresheet himself in the 39th minute. The 20-year-old found open space, drove across the edge of the box, and sent a shot past the keeper that struck the right post and found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season in just eight matches.
The two sides went into halftime having combined for four goals, and the scoring would not end there for the rest of the match.
In the 60th minute, Carmona continued his impact on the match after drawing a penalty kick that would be taken by Ibrahim Kasule. The Ugandan continued his perfect record from the mark this season and buried the penalty to give Red Bulls II a three goal lead. The brace put Kasule in fourth for the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race, only three goals behind the current leader.
Atlanta would grab a goal back in the 78th minute, but that would be all as New York sealed yet another multi goal victory.
Red Bulls II are now 5-0-0 in matches where they score three or more goals, thanks to the incredible defensive performances that the team has put out throughout the season. The club maintained their position at third in MLS NEXT Pro in least goals allowed with 26 and have cemented themselves as a top defensive team in the entire league.
New York Red Bulls II will stay home to host Chicago Fire FC II on Sunday, August 27. Kickoff at MSU Soccer Park is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. ET. Coverage will be on MLS Season Pass with Apple TV, the New York Red Bulls app and NewYorkRedBulls.com.