MATCH RECAP: New York Red Bulls II Open 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Season with 2-0 Win Over Columbus Crew 2

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COLUMBUS, OH (March 18, 2024) - New York Red Bulls II (1-0-0, 3 pts.) take all three points on the road in the 2024 season opener against Columbus Crew 2 (0-0-1, 0 pts.), 2-0, at Field.

New York made the journey to Columbus with plenty of familiar faces from last season, as defender Aidan O’Connor was the only player to make their debut for the club during the match. The consistency in the lineup proved to be the difference, with Red Bulls II firing on all cylinders right from the opening whistle.

The match began with New York on the front foot as the squad maintained consistent possession and put heavy pressure on the Columbus defense. With multiple chances within the first ten minutes, the boys eventually found their breakthrough in the 11th minute.

Defender Juan Gutierrez started the play after finding a seam through the middle of the pitch to find Mohammed Sofo, who dribbled into open space on the right side of the attacking third. The forward made a quick cut and threaded a ball across the top of the eighteen to Ibrahim Kasule, who laid the ball off to Wiki Carmona for a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out. The Venezuelan put his side up for the first time in 2024 with his ninth goal in his last eleven appearances for the club.

More attacking chances would come for New York in the first half, but the score line remained the same as the two squads headed into the break.

To begin the second half, Columbus came out looking to increase their attacking pressure, but the New York defensive structure wouldn’t allow it. The back line stayed strong for the entirety of the match and let up little to no chances to their opposition. The impressive defensive play allowed the attack to create more chances in the final third, leading Red Bulls II to grab their second of the match in the final moments.

After one of many defensive stops, left back Omar Valencia charged through the middle of the field and found Ibrahim Kasule, who played a perfect pass with the outside of his foot to forward Roald Mitchell for the breakaway finish. The Montclair, New Jersey, native scored his first goal since returning to the Red Bulls organization after attending Wake Forest University. Kasule secured the second multi-assist match of his career with New York Red Bulls II, both of which coming in his last three appearances.

New York would end up shutting the door on the match with their second goal, and the strong play from the team defensively maintained the clean sheet. Columbus only managed to put one shot on target thanks to the incredible effort from the back line and the entire New York squad.

Goalkeeper AJ Marcucci recorded his 11th clean sheet with New York Red Bulls II, moving him into second all-time in club history. The Pennsylvania native is now only two shutouts behind Ryan Meara for the club’s all-time record.

New York returns home for the first round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Hudson Valley Hammers. Kickoff at MSU Soccer Park is scheduled for 7:30 P.M. ET. Coverage will be on, the New York Red Bulls app and