MONTCLAIR, NJ (April 23, 2022) – New York Red Bulls II (1-5-1, 4 points) battled the Tampa Bay Rowdies (3-1-4, 13 points) to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, April 23, at MSU Soccer Park.
Tampa Bay opened the match with a shot in the third minute from New York Red Bulls loan Jake LaCava, but the attempt was collected by AJ Marcucci. The New York goalkeeper came up with another key stop in the 31st minute as he pushed a shot over the crossbar from Dayonn Harris.
Red Bulls II struck right before the half for the match’s first goal on a free kick from Jeremy Rafanello that found the top corner of the net after grazing Tampa’s defensive wall.
The visitors were able to even the score in the 85th minute. William Antley’s shot was saved by Marcucci, and Leo Fernandes was able to score as his shot off the rebound deflected off the leg of Marcucci into the back of the net.
Both teams traded chances to try and claim all three points in the final minutes of the match. Jordan Adebayo-Smith collected the ball from a Tampa Bay defender and sprinted down the side of the field. He then played a ball across the box that found Sam Williams, who had his shot go wide of the net. Fernandes responded a minute later with a shot of his own that was collected by Marcucci.
The goal for Rafanello was his second of the season and the 10th of his USL Championship career.
Marcucci recorded six saves in the contest, bringing his season total to 23, which leads the league.
Juan Castillo made his seventh start of the season, playing the full 90 minutes. He is the only Red Bulls II player to start every match so far this season. His 565 minutes also lead the team.
Following the match, New York will conclude its April slate as it travels to face USL Championship newcomers Detroit City FC on Saturday, April 30. Kickoff from Keyworth Stadium is set for 4:00 p.m. ET, with coverage available on ESPN+.