New York Red Bulls II concluded its season-high six match August slate on Wednesday, August 31, against Hartford Athletic.
The month saw numerous comebacks, a few player milestones, and some strong performances from Red Bulls Academy players. Look back at some of the notes and numbers from August as the calendar shifts to September:
Comeback Kids – Down a man and a goal, New York scored twice in the final eight minutes of its match against Atlanta United 2 on August 9 to come back and take the three points. O’Vonte Mullings’ goal in the 90th minute marked the fourth-latest match-winning goal in club regular season history. On August 20, Red Bulls II came back from down two goals to earn a strong road point against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Highmark Stadium.
Estrela Makes Professional Debut – Bento Estrela made his professional debut with Red Bulls II on August 28. The midfielder entered the match in the 68th minute. He is the youngest Homegrown signing in New York Red Bulls history and recently appeared in the MLS NEXT All-Star game on August 10 in Minnesota. He has also spent time in Youth National Team camps for both Portugal and the United States.
Ndam Makes History – On August 20, Hassan Ndam set a new Red Bulls II record for career minutes played by a defender, passing Jordan Scarlett. He has registered 5,382 minutes over 63 appearances with the club. This season, he has started all five matches that he has appeared in and logged 435 of a possible 450 minutes.
First Professional Start for Ruiz – Red Bulls Academy midfielder Erick Ruiz and defender Arian Recinos made his first professional start on August 28, playing the full 90 minutes. Ruiz became the first Academy outfield player to log the 90 minutes in their first professional start since Matthew Acosta during the 201 season. Seven Academy players have started matches this season for Red Bulls II, with the average age of that group being 16 years old.
The New Guys – New York Red Bulls II added four players during the month of August. The club brought in defenders Omar Valencia and Yostin Salinas on loan from C.D. Plaza Amador and Sporting Football Club, respectively. New York also signed former Watford U-23 midfielder Henry Wise and acquired Real Valladolid striker Stiven Plaza on a free transfer.
50 for Adebayo-Smith – Jordan Adebayo-Smith made his 50th USL Championship appearance during New York’s match on August 28 against Birmingham Legion FC. The California native has made 26 appearances with New York this season after being loaned by the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he made 25 appearances last season.