New York Red Bulls II takes on Swope Park Rangers at home on Sunday, October 23rd at 8:00 PM in the 2016 USL Cup Final. The USL Regular Season Shield holders and champions of the Eastern Conference have had a wild and record-breaking ride this season. NYRB II crushed the regular season points, goals scored records and won back-to-back penalty shootouts to reach the USL Cup Final. For those who haven’t been convinced already, here are five reasons to attend or tune in to watch NYRB II battle for the cup this Sunday on ESPN U.
1. The Wild Playoff Ride
Red Bulls II have had back-to-back penalty shootout victories in the Eastern Conference Semifinal and Eastern Conference Final. Their road to the USL Cup has been a tense and action packed grind, using every possible second of their past two games to get the win. Supporters beware for the tidal wave of emotions likely in store for the big game on Sunday.
2. The Ice in Derrick’s Veins
Derrick Etienne Jr. has been an offensive spark plug this playoff season. The forward has one goal in three playoff games and has set up countless more opportunities with his fast paced play and footwork. Etienne Jr. has been a cold-blooded killer during penalty shootouts with his signature run-ups and deadly execution. His skill moves and speed will keep you on the edge of your seat and the ice water in his veins guarantees the finish.
3. Brandon Allen, USL MVP and Rookie of the Year Nominee
Brandon Allen has three goals over the course of three games this playoff run. How about the 15 goals he scored in the regular season as well? His spectacular rookie season has earned him two nominations in the 2016 USL Awards for Rookie of the Year and league MVP. The forward has a nose for the net and is always fun to watch.
4. The French Connection
Vincent Bezecourt and Florian Valot have two goals and four assists between themselves in just three playoff games. It’s safe to say that the Frenchmen are on fire, Bezecourt recording an unreal three assists and one goal and Valot with one goal and one assist on the playoff stat sheet.
5. The Stone Wall of Ryan Meara
Ryan Meara has been rock solid in goal during NYRB II’s playoff run, particularly during penalty shootouts. Meara saved not one, but two of Louisville’s penalty kicks in the Eastern Conference Final to send NYRB II to Sunday’s USL Cup Final.