HARRISON, N.J. - Toronto FC II suffered their second defeat in the USL, falling 4-1 to New York Red Bulls II.
Goals from forward Anatole Abang, fullback Sean McLaws, forward Marius Obekop and midfielder Leo Stolz handed New York Red Bulls II a comfortable victory.
NYRB II went on the attack in the opening minutes, fencing the Reds into their own end. Abang starting the proceedings with a quality finish in the eighth minute, getting a foot on a well delivered ball from Sean Davis and flicking it past goalkeeper Alex Bono.
The pressure on TFC II’s goal continued late into the first half. In the 40th minute McLaws made a strong run into the box and found enough time and space to finish into the far post to give the home side a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
TFC II was the better team coming out of the break, giving the Red Bulls a taste of their own medicine.
Their positive play paid off in the 52nd minute. Luca Uccello fired a shot that was deflected into the net by NYRB II defender and Canadian international Karl Ouimette. Spurred on by the goal, it looked as if the Reds could get something out of the game, but it wasn’t to be.
A foul by Captain Chris Mannella on Abang in the 74th minute led to Obekop’s goal from the penalty spot. Red Bulls Captain Stoltz added the final goal in the 86th minute.
Controlling the Midfield
It may not have seemed like it given the score, but in the moments TFC II controlled the midfield it led to good things. Getting Mannella and Jay Chapman back into the starting XI gave the team a boost, allowing the Reds to gain a foothold in the game at the beginning of the second half.
On the other side, the work of Stoltz, Connor Lade and Davis helped the Red Bulls dominate in the wide areas. This not only led to positive attacking play, but allowed their forwards to stretch their legs and test the TFC II backline.
Dealing with the Threat
One of the main issues for TFC II has been dealing with the quickness and agility from opposing strikers in their first two games against the Charleston Battery and FC Montreal,
Dane Kelly was able to turn on the jets and find space in the box to score a goal for the Battery before coming off with an injury, while Victor N’Diaye hit the post twice for FC Montreal, causing a nuisance for Reds’ defenders throughout the match.
In this match, Abang and Obekop caused similar issues.
It was extremely difficult to mark either player, with both having the freedom to roam and float into open spaces. Their free role was made more evident when the linkup play included Manolo Sanchez and Derrick Etienne later in the second half.
At 2-1 the game was competitive and TFC II registered a solid push back, however, the penalty killed Toronto’s momentum.
TFC II has a week off to work on things before its next match, Their next game is Sunday April 19th, when they take on Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 with kickoff slated for 6:00PM ET. Follow the action via twitter @TorontoFCII and watch it live at torontofc.ca/live.
NYRB II – Anatole Abang 7’
NYRB II – Shawn McLaws 40’
TFC II – Luca Uccello 52’
NYRB II – Marius Obekop 74’
NYRB II – Leo Stolz 86’
TFC II – Jordan Hamilton 14’ (caution)
TFC II – Marcos Nunes 18’ (caution)
NYRB II – Connor Lade 49’ (caution)
NYRB II – Shawn McLaws 51’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 1-2-0 3pts.
New York Red Bulls II: 1-0-1 4pts.
Toronto FC II – Alex Bono; Wesley Charpie (Marcus Godinho 82’), Daniel Fabrizi (Manuel Aparicio 64’), Adam Bouchard, Mark Serjeant (Raheem Edwards 45’); Chris Mannella ©, Luca Uccello, Marcos Nunes (Massimo Mirabelli 46’), Jay Chapman; Mo Babouli (Mark Anthony Kaye 82’), Jordan Hamilton
Substitutes Not Used: Quillan Roberts, Martin Davis
New York Red Bulls II – Kyle Reynish; Shawn McLaws, Michael da Fonte (Andrew Jean-Baptiste 79’), Karl Ouimette, Colin Heffron (Dan Metzger 43); Connor Lade (Tyler Adams 67’), Sean Davis, Leo Stolz, Manolo Sanchez (Derrick Etienne 64’); Anatole Abang, Marius Obekop (Victor Manosalvas 89’)
Substitutes Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Chris Tsonis