MATTHEWS, NC (September 10, 2023) - New York Red Bulls II (14-7-6, 51 pts.) earn a point in a 1-1 draw against Crown Legacy FC (17-4-5, 60 pts.). Crown Legacy would win the shootout 4-2 and earn the second point at Mecklenburg County Sportsplex.
New York entered yesterday’s contest riding a four-match win streak, their longest such streak of the season. The path to continue that run would have to go through the league leading Crown Legacy FC, who Red Bulls II had yet to defeat in their two previous matchups.
Crown Legacy came into the match looking to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference and a bye in the first round of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. Coming off a 6-3 victory against Orlando City B, the home side were full of the same confidence that they have had all season long.
The first half showcased the defensive skill from both sides. New York created multiple high-quality chances in the final third but were unable to find the breakthrough. In an unfortunate turn of events, Red Bulls II defender Juan Gutierrez was shown his second yellow card in the 40th minute of the match, forcing his side to play with ten men for the remaining 50 minutes.
The match's scoring wouldn’t start until the 59th minute, when New York found their breakthrough while down a man. Midfielder O’Vonte Mullings received the ball in the final third, carried the ball across the top of the eighteen, and threaded a perfect pass to Wiki Carmona, who placed a clean finish into the side netting. The goal was Carmona’s eighth of the season in just his tenth appearance, putting him into second in the club rankings for goals this year.
Now playing with a lead and down a player, Red Bulls II began their defense to try and grab three points on the road. The defense held up until the 88th minute, when Crown Legacy found their equalizer off the head of João Guilherme and sent the match to a shootout.
After multiple saves from the Crown Legacy goalkeeper, the home side earned the second point in the shootout, 4-2. Arian Recinos and Julian Hall were the lone scorers for New York after converting their kicks from the mark.
Despite the shootout loss, New York extended their unbeaten streak to five matches. The streak marks the first time that the club has gone five matches without a loss since July of 2019, when Red Bulls II put together a run of eight matches unbeaten.
Yesterday’s match marked the 18th of the season in which Red Bulls II have allowed one or fewer goals, which moves the club up to second in MLS NEXT Pro in least goals allowed with 33 on the year. New York also maintained their spot at fourth in the league in goal differential at +19.
Red Bulls II finished their regular season campaign on the road with a 6-3-5 record away from home, scooping up 26 points in 14 matches.
New York returns home for Decision Day in MLS NEXT Pro against Philadelphia Union 2 on Sunday, September 24. Kickoff at MSU Soccer Park is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. ET. Coverage will be on MLS Season Pass with Apple TV.