HARRISON, N.J. (October 2, 2016) – New York Red Bulls II advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 USL Playoffs on Sunday afternoon by defeating Orlando City B, 4-0 at Red Bull Arena. Aaron Long led the charge with two goals, while Vincent Bezecourt and Brandon Allen also got on the score sheet.
New York Red Bulls II, the top team in the USL regular season with a 21-3-6 record, will face the Rochester Rhinos on Friday night at Red Bull Arena.
Long opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, finding a loose ball at the back post after a Bezecourt corner fell through a crowd. Long hammered home the loose ball for his first goal of the 2016 playoffs.
Bezecourt doubled the advantage with a goal of his own in the 60th minute, meeting a pass from Florian Valot at the top of the box and firing his first touch into the top-left corner.
Orlando City B’s Harrison Heath was shown a straight red card in the 62nd minute after a challenge on Tyler Adams.
Allen pushed the lead to three in the 67th minute, forcing a turnover at the top of the box, taking a touch around the keeper and depositing the ball in the back of the net. Allen finished the regular season with 15 goals, second-most in USL.
Ryan Meara earned the shutout, adding to the team’s clean sheet total after NYRB II recorded a league-high 15 regular season shutouts.
NY – Aaron Long (Vincent Bezecourt) 32’
NY – Vincent Bezecourt (Florian Valot) 60’
NY – Brandon Allen (unassisted) 63’
NY – Aaron Long (Vincent Bezecourt) 77’
OCB – Andrew Mearam (caution, foul) 30’
OCB– Lewis Neal (caution, foul) 45+1’
OCB – Harrison Heath (ejection, foul) 63’
NY: Ryan Meara ©; Noah Powder, Aaron Long, Zach Carroll, David Najem, Dan Metzger (Kevin O’Toole, 77’), Tyler Adams (Konrad Plewa, 74’), Vincent Bezecourt, Derrick Etienne Jr. (Stefano Bonomo, 71’). Florian Valot, Brandon Allen (Zoumana Simpara, 82’)
OCB: Mark Ridgers; Tyler Turner, Zach Hayden, Conor Donovan, Kyle McFadden, Harrison Heath, Andrew Ribeiro (Devron Garvia, 55’), Lewis Neal ©, Pierre Da Silva (Hadji Barry, 46’), Marius Obekop (johnny Mendoza, 79’), Michael Cox
New York Red Bulls II Quote Sheet
NYRB II Head Coach John Wolyniec
On keeping the team focused after clinching a playoff spot early:
Not much to be honest, these guys are determined and I think they have high aspirations both for themselves and for this team and for this year and all year they’ve been a great group to work with and it shows itself again tonight.
On what they had to do to defeat Orlando:
They ticked it up from the last time we saw them, they played with a bit more energy and they were defending with a little extra bite and a playoff game is a little bit more physical than your normal game, but our guys went about it in a great way. We knew what to expect and sticked to the way we played and was real proud of the way we approached this game from pretty much the start of the game through 90 minutes.
On if he was surprised to get two goals from defender Aaron Long:
Not shocked, obviously two of them come off set pieces. One of the comments during the week was ‘we haven’t gotten a lot off of our set pieces recently,’ and he’s a guy that’s gotten some goals off our set pieces in the past.
On taking momentum into the semifinals matchup against Rochester Rhinos:
One of the things we’ve done during the year is just take things one game at a time and that’s what the playoffs are about. That’s what our focus was the last couple games of the season even when we had first place wrapped up and the guys have really bought into that. Some of it is that we have a deep team, there’s a lot of competition, the guys have a lot of aspirations and that’s a great motivating factor.