It took the New York Red Bulls nearly two decades to win their first trophy. The “kids” did it in just two years. The New York Red Bulls II are the USL regular season champions. NY entered the game Wednesday needing a single win to clinch the title. They did so in convincing fashion against the struggling Harrisburg City Islanders 4-1.
NYRBII Defeat Harrisburg City 4-1, Clinch USL Regular Season Cup
New York held some regular starters out of the lineup with a game against Rochester looming on the weekend. Stafano Bonomo, Zoumana Simpara, and Kyle Reynish all earned the start while Brandon Allen, Florian Valot, and Ryan Meara took a rest. For much of the first half, Red Bulls II controlled the game, finding the reward for their hard work midway through the first half.
New York took the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to a cool finish from Vincent Bezecourt. The midfielder took advantage of slow transition defense from Harrisburg and slotted the ball to the back post. For Bezecourt, it was his third goal of the season. All of his three goals have come against Harrisburg, and he would add a fourth later. The Red Bulls dominant first half saw the visitors outshoot the home side 10 – 3.
Despite the first half domination, Harrisburg City struck for an equalizer in the 46th minute from Cardel Benbow. The Red Bulls failed to clear the ball after a cross into the area. Benbom played a give and go with Craig Foster and finished far post. Benbow’s shot was just the second shot on net for the Islanders on the day. Harrisburg’s fell short on their attempt to climb back into the game.
Noah Powder put the Red Bulls back on top in the 62nd minute. It was the result of a well-played triangle between Vincent Bezecourt, and Zoumana Simpara. The final pass put Powder into the box and he finished near post. The Red Bulls then added to the score with a third goal in the 73rd minute. Vincent Bezecourt’s brace was courtesy of a lovely ball played in behind the Harrisburg defense by Florian Valot. Bezecourt finished far post.
Noah Powder also found a brace with a superb strike from outside the box in the 79th minute. Powder volleyed with his left foot from about 25 yards leaving Harrisburg City’s keeper, Keasel Broome, had no chance on the shot.
The Red Bulls clinched a playoff spot nearly a month ago after a victory over Louisville FC on August 19th. Now NY will turn their attention to Rochester Rhinos. NY has yet to defeat the Rhinos home or away. Rochester knocked out of the 2015 USL playoffs.
NY is riding a seven game win streak heading into the match. Any additional point in their remaining games will set a league record for points in a season (Currently held by MLS side Orlando City with 62 pts.).