COLUMBUS, OH (August 14, 2023) - New York Red Bulls II (11-7-5, 41 pts.) earn three points on the road against Columbus Crew 2 (12-7-3, 41 pts.), 5-0, at Historic Crew Stadium.
New York set the tone in this match early, with Wiki Carmona doing what he does best in MLS NEXT Pro. After Frank Ssebufu played a ball in past the opposition’s back line, Carmona found himself in a one-on-one with the Columbus goalkeeper and made no mistake with a clean finish to take the lead.
While Crew 2 managed to keep a majority of the possession for the first half, Red Bulls II had the best opportunities in front of goal without a doubt. Chance after chance came for New York as a result of the high press that disturbed Columbus almost every single time they touched the ball. New York was able to capitalize yet again in the 44th minute.
After making a quick run down the right side of the field, midfielder Ronald Donkor was able to get a shot on goal that the goalkeeper was just able to get a hand on. However, the loose ball that followed perfectly found the feet of Frank Ssebufu, who sent a shot into the open goal to double New York’s lead.
Red Bulls II went into halftime in a strong position, holding a 2-0 lead and having the best chances of the match against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
The second half was more of the same on both sides, with Columbus maintaining possession, but New York holding all control in terms of high-quality chances. Every time Red Bulls II managed to force a turnover, it seemed like almost instantly they were in the final third with a chance on goal. This would continue through the 61st minute, when New York added to their total.
After a cross sent in from Omar Valencia was loose and a save was made from the Columbus goalkeeper, defender Matt Nocita found his opportunity to head the ball perfectly over heads of the Columbus defense to notch his first professional goal. Now up 3-0, New York was in complete control.
Just three minutes later, Red Bulls II added another to their tally. This time, Ibrahim Kasule found the back of the net after receiving a beautiful ball in the middle of the 18 yard box from Omar Valencia. The goal was Kasule’s eleventh on the season, extending his club lead and becoming the first player to score eleven goals in a season since Jared Stroud, Tom Barlow, and Mathias Jørgensen all hit that mark in 2019.
The final goal of the match would come in the 74th minute, when recently subbed on forward Mohammed Sofo placed a perfect shot past the Columbus keeper from a ball played in by Matt Nocita. The Ghanaian continued the night full of milestones with his first career goal in MLS NEXT Pro with New York Red Bulls II.
New York posted their eighth clean sheet of the season, which puts them into a tie for the second most in MLS NEXT Pro this season. The club also now sits at third in the league and first in the Eastern Conference in least goals allowed on the season with 26.
Yesterday’s victory marked the first by 5+ goals for Red Bulls II since September 6th, 2020, in a 6-0 win against Philadelphia Union II. The match also had five separate goal scorers, which has not happened for New York since July of 2020.
New York returns home to host Atlanta United 2 on Monday, August 21. 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.