With the playoffs starting next week, here is a rundown of New York Red Bulls II playoff history from the very beginning.
New York Red Bulls II clinched their way into the 2015 Playoffs with a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. They hosted their first ever playoff game at Red Bull Arena, topping the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4-2 after extra time.
Despite conceding an early goal, NYRB II equalized courtesy of former midfielder Manolo Sánchez. The Philadelphia native made a clinical run into the eighteen-yard box before cutting the ball onto his left foot and scoring. Pittsburgh scored first in extra time but NYRB II replied with three of their own, earning their way into the Conference Semi-Final.
The team’s first playoff run ended in Rochester when the Rhinos advanced with a 2-0 victory.
First Piece of Hardware
A league topping 69 points earned NYRB II the first seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2016 playoffs. Hosting Orlando City B in their first-round match, New York cruised to a 4-0 victory thanks to an Aaron Long brace as well as goals from Vincent Bezecourt and former NYRB II forward Brandon Allen.
NYRB II would go on to face Rochester again in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final, this time at Red Bull Arena. Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne Jr and Brandon Allen found the back of the net in regulation play. A 119th penalty-kick scored by Allen forced a penalty shootout to determine who would move on to the Conference Final. NYRB II were perfect from the spot, winning the shootout 5-4.
Penalties would also be needed to separate NYRB II and Louisville City FC in the Eastern Conference Final following a 1-1 finish after extra time. Goalkeeper Ryan Meara would be the hero on the day, saving a pair of spot kicks to help the team advance to the 2016 USL Championship.
Swope Park Rangers would be the final team standing in the way New York Red Bulls II‘s quest for the cup. Derrick Etienne Jr would open the scoring in the eighteenth minute with a curling strike from just outside the 18 yard-box.
Brandon Allen would go on to score three times before the game’s final whistle. Goals in the 39th, 85th and 88th minute would secure the USL Championship Title for NYRB II and Championship Game MVP for himself.
Just Short of the Final
NYRB II’s seventh place finish would be enough to earn them a spot in the USL Championship Playoffs for the third consecutive year.
The Conference Quarterfinal saw NYRB II travel to take on the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium. Four different goal scorers would find the back of the net on the day, setting the team’s sights on the conference semifinal in Tampa Bay.
The Rowdies struck early courtesy of forward Georgi Hristov, but former NYRB II forward Stefano Bonomo replied with two of his own. Bonomo’s extra time penalty advanced the club to their second consecutive Conference Final.
Louisville City FC would get the scoring started in the Conference Final bout; however, their lead would last until the 57th minute when Junior Flemmings found an equalizer. The former NYRB II midfielder beat two defenders before slotting the ball into the back of the net.
A penalty-kick shootout would once again be needed to separate these two sides. A 4-3 shootout finish advanced Louisville to the USL Cup Championship where they would go on to lift the trophy.
For the third year in a row NYRB II would make their way to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018.
A pair of 1-0 victories over Nashville SC and FC Cincinnati respectively saw NYRB II take on Louisville away from home for the second year in a row. Louisville came out on top once again, keeping NYRB II from advancing to their second ever USL Championship final.
New York Red Bulls II will continue their postseason history, when they take on Indy Eleven at IUPUI Carroll Stadium on October 26, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.