HARRISON, NJ (July 31, 2014) – The New York Red Bulls U-23s defeated Lansing United, 2-0, at the Red Bull Training Facility in Hanover on Sunday, July 27, in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) national semi-finals to set up a date with Chattanooga FC in the finals, to be played at Red Bull Arena directly after the senior team finishes their match with the New England Revolution.
The Red Bulls U-23s reached the NPSL national final after an undefeated season (12-0-0) and three postseason victories, including two en route to the NPSL Northeast Regional Championship. As the overall top seed in the league the Red Bulls have earned home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
“I thought we controlled the game from start to finish and limited Lansing United to very few chances,” said U-23 head coach Simon Nee, “Antonio Matarazzo and Joe Farrell where excellent at the center of our defense and our two full backs Scott Thomsen and Rhys Williams were both very effective in getting into the attack and creating our best chances in the first half. The passing and movement was better in the second half and we created a number of good chances building up to the first goal.”
After a scoreless first half, team captain Sean Sheridan, who, along with teammate Victor Manosalvas, was named to the 2014 All-NPSL team, scored the game-winner with a half-volleyed chance off a rebound in the box and Mike Innocenzi added the insurance in the 78th minute with a rebound of his own after a Rhys Williams run down the right flank and subsequent cross caused chaos in the box.
“Red Bull Arena is where the players are striving to play week-in and week-out. It is the end goal for the group. So to compete for the NPSL title there on Saturday, after the senior squad plays a league match, is a tremendous opportunity and an exciting challenge. It will be the perfect opportunity to show the quality in this group. We hope that the fans stay late to support the team.”
Southeast Conference and South Regional champions Chattanooga FC, the only other team with two players to make the All-NPSL team, defeated the Sacramento Gold, 4-1, at Finley Stadium in front of the club’s largest-ever crowd (8,878). For CFC, this Saturday will be the team’s third NPSL Final since 2010 and first since 2012.
“Chattanooga FC are an established NPSL program, having reached the league championship on three separate occasions. They have an excellent fanbase as shown in their record-setting attendance for the semi-final. We’re excited to play a team of their caliber this Saturday night and I’m confident they will give us our best competition of the season.”
The NPSL Final will take place at Red Bull Arena on August 2 at 9:30 p.m. after the conclusion of the Red Bulls/Revolution match.
The match will only be available to fans that have tickets for the New England game but it will be live-streamed on www.newyorkredbulls.com. Tickets are on sale now for the Red Bulls-Revolution match by calling 1.877.727.6223 or logging onto tickets.newyorkredbulls.com.