FOXBOROUGH, MA (October 7, 2023) – The New York Red Bulls II (#4 Seed) season comes to a close after falling to New England Revolution II (#2 Seed) , at Gillette Stadium last night.
New York Red Bulls II went into the match having defeated Chicago Fire FC II, 4-1, at MSU Soccer Park in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Ibrahim Kasule notched a brace with Frank Ssebufu and O’Vonte Mullings also getting on the scoresheet to propel New York to the second round.
With a quick turnaround from Sunday to Friday, both teams entered Gillette Stadium with their eyes on advancing to their first Eastern Conference Final match in MLS NEXT Pro.
Right as the match began, offensive chances for both sides became incredibly common. New York had multiple opportunities in the final third, however, it would be New England that would get an early lead in the 12th minute.
Revs II midfielder Marcos Dias dribbled his way into the attacking end and found Malcolm Fry, who hesitated, found his spot for a finish, and gave his side an early lead.
The best opportunities for rest of the first half returned to New York after New England sent players back to prioritize the defensive line. The chances were there, but no results were found as the score line remained the same headed into the break.
Red Bulls II came out of the second half with the drive to grab an equalizer, but it would be New England that would manage to double their lead.
In the 69th minute, after drawing a free kick on the outside of the eighteen yard box right on the goal line, Jack Panayotou played in a cross to defender Victor Souza, who headed the ball home for New England’s second.
While down, Red Bulls II still had plenty of time to try and get back in the match. Key substitutions changed the momentum of the game in favor of New York. Two of those subs would end up making an instant impact on the match.
After intense pressure on the ball, midfielder Rafael Mosquera forced a turnover and had numbers in a 2-on-1 with Julian Hall. Mosquera found his way into the box and played a perfect ball to Hall, who beat the New England goalkeeper to cut the lead in half.
New York Red Bulls II would continue their pressure but were unable to find the eventual equalizer. In what was a historic inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro for the club, their journey would end in the second round.
From the 100th win in club history to Ibrahim Kasule matching goal scoring records, the 2023 season provided incredible moments that will always have a place in the club record books. Here are just a few of the most memorable moments from this season:
Notable Season Accomplishments:
- New York Red Bulls II ended their year with a 14-8-6 record in their inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro, which earned them the # 4 seed for this year’s playoffs.
- New York’s 51 points in the regular season marked the highest point total since 2019 and fourth highest in club history.
- New York posted their fourth highest goal differential in club history at +17, which is also the highest since 2019.
- Red Bulls II recorded their first playoff win since 2018 in last Sunday’s victory against Chicago Fire FC II.
- New York’s highest win streak of the season was four matches, marking the first time the club has done so since 2018.
- New York recorded their 100th win in club history on April 21st against New England Revolution II after a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium.
- Midfielder Ibrahim Kasule scored 15 goals in the regular season, putting him into a tie with Jared Stroud and Brandon Allen for the most in club history.
- Kasule also had a stretch of seven matches in which he scored a goal, which is both a club and league record.
- Kasule became the first player to win back-to-back player of the month awards in MLS NEXT Pro (July, August)
- Kasule earned a spot in the end of year Best XI for the league after finishing the season with 15 goals and 6 assists.
- Forward Julian Hall became the youngest goal scorer in club history at 15 years, 72 days old on June 4th against New England Revolution II.
- Hall also became the youngest player to record an assist in club history in the same match.
- In addition to being the youngest to record a goal and an assist, Hall’s debut at 15 years, 44 days old made him the youngest player to appear in a match in club history, passing Serge Ngoma who set the record in 2020 at 15 years 77 days old.