BETHLEHEM, PA (September 4, 2016) – New York Red Bulls II claimed its sixth consecutive victory and moved closer to claiming the USL Regular Season Title with a win at Bethlehem Steel FC, 2-0. Brandon Allen and Derrick Etienne Jr. were the goal scorers, while goalkeeper Rafael Diaz kept the clean sheet.
The win improves NYRB II to 18-3-5 on the season, six points clear of second place Louisville City FC with one game in hand. Four games remain for Red Bulls II, who can claim the USL Regular Season Title with four more points, which would be enough to mathematically eliminate Louisville from the title race if they won their remaining three games.
New York also recorded its 15th clean sheet of the season. The club is just two shutouts shy of tying Rochester Rhinos’ 2015 league record of 17 clean sheets.
Red Bulls II’s Aaron Long earned a penalty kick when former NYRB II player Bolu Akinyode brought down the defender in the penalty area. Allen, the club’s leading goal scorer, stepped up to the penalty spot and buried his 13th goal of the season in the 31st minute. Allen stands in third place of the USL Golden Boot Race and trails leader Jack McBean by two goals.
In the 68th minute, defender Konrad Plewa made his return to New York Red Bulls II as a substitute, his first game back since suffering a stroke on July 31, 2016. He last played against Richmond Kickers on July 30, 2016.
New York went on to ice the victory in the first minute of stoppage time. Etienne Jr., played in behind Bethlehem’s defense by Dan Metzger, calmly slid home his fourth goal of the season to clinch the win.
New York Red Bulls II returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 7 on the road against Harrisburg City Islanders at Millersville University. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Red Bulls II will host its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 17 against FC Montreal at 7 p.m.
NY: Brandon Allen (PK) 31’
NY: Derrick Etienne Jr. (Dan Metzger) 90+’
BST: Maurice Edu, Caution 30’
BST: Josh Heard, Caution 45+’
NY: Brandon Allen, Caution 58’
NY: Florian Valot, Caution 60’
NY: Rafael Diaz, Kevin O’Toole (Konrad Plewa, 68’), Aaron Long, Zach Carroll, David Najem, Dan Metzger, Tyler Adams, Vincent Bezecourt (Speedy Williams, 75’), Derrick Etienne Jr., Brandon Allen (Ben Mines, 90+’), Florian Valot (Stefano Bonomo, 71’)