Pittsburgh, PA (March 25, 2017) – New York Red Bulls II opened the 2017 USL season with a 3-3 draw on the road to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Their title defense got off to a fast start as returning playmaker Florian Valot scored quickly in the sixth minute off a cheeky assist from Red Bulls loanee Arun Basuljevic.
The Riverhounds didn’t stay behind for long as former New York Red Bulls draft pick Corey Hertzog beat Red Bulls II keeper Rafael Diaz to a 50/50 ball and tapped one in to equalize.
Newly signed Red Bulls II player Andrew Tinari made his professional debut assisting on a Vincent Bezecourt left-footed strike that beat the Pittsburgh keeper in the 16th minute.
Riverhounds captain Kevin Kerr tied things back up before the half as he toe poked a shot past Diaz.
Neither side made a change at the half and both teams slowed the pace considerably.
In the 76th minute, Red Bulls academy product Ben Mines drew a penalty inside the box taken down from behind by a Pittsburgh defender. Bezecourt promptly stepped up to the spot and buried one into the back of the net to reclaim the lead.
That lead wouldn’t last long as Hassan Ndam was called for a penalty in the box three minutes later. Hertzog would be denied on his first attempt by Diaz, and nearly was denied again on the rebound but the ball slipped underneath the body of Diaz.
Neither side could find the game-winner in the four minutes of stoppage time announced.
Red Bulls II return home for their USL home opener at their new facility, MSU Soccer Park, on the campus of Montclair State University at 4 p.m. on April 1 against the Richmond Kickers. Tickets are still available HERE or by calling 877.722.7585
New York: Diaz; Najem, Ndam, Schmoll, Kutler; Basuljevic, Tinari (Kevin O’Toole, 71st minute); Bezecourt, Abidor; Valot, Flemmings (Ben Mines, 58th minute)
Pittsburgh: Broome; Washington, Agbossoumonde (Ryan Adeleye, 56th minute), Jack, Balchan; Thompson (Kay Banjo, 77th minute), (Ben Swanson, 62nd minute), Souto, Okai, Hollingsworth; Kerr, Hertzog
PGH: Hertzog (9’, 81’), Kerr (39’)
NY: Valot (6’), Bezecourt (16’, 76’)
PGH: Yellow: Okai 48’, Hollingsworth 59’, Hertzog 75’, Souto 77’, Adeleye 87’