Red Bulls, Red Bulls II, soccer
(Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls II)

Red Bulls II Earn Shutout Victory in Last Home Game of 2021

Five days after earning a tie against the first-place Tampa Bay Rowdies on the road, the Red Bulls II returned home and defeated Loudoun United, 3-0.

The Red Bulls II had the run of play in the first half and nearly opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Harrison, New Jersey striker, Omar Sowe leapt into the air on a corner kick taken by Daniel Edelman and nearly scored. His effort was saved at the goal-line by a Loudoun United defender.

Luther Archimede gave the Baby Bulls an early lead with a beautiful goal. Archimede leapt in mid-air and kicked in a great cross from Juan Castillo Andrade. The Guadeloupe-native has been a good addition to the Red Bulls II since coming over in early September. Archimede has scored three goals in ten matches, including three in his last four games.

The visitors earned a penalty kick in the 34th minute and had a chance to go level, but Red Bulls II goalkeeper AJ Marcucci had different ideas and saved the penalty by diving down and to the right.

Marcucci's penalty save in the first half kept the visitors from tying the game and was a big moment in the match.

The home side responded with their own penalty-kick to start the second half. Midfielder Cameron Harper pummeled a penalty kick into the back of the net to give the Red Bulls II a commanding 2-0 lead.

Red Bulls II defender Mandela Egbo scored the Red Bulls II's third goal by running all the way down field onto a pass and beating a defender one-on-one before chipping a nice shot in to the net.

In addition to having veterans play well tonight, Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec made sure to give some of the newest members of the team a chance to play as well. Wolyniec subbed on 19-year-old, Steven Sserwadda for Luther Archimede in the 60th minute and 17-year-old Austin Brummett.

Postgame Thoughts

Wednesday night's game was Red Bulls II's last home game of the 2021 season at Montclair State University and they were able to send the fans home happy. 

Head Coach John Wolyniec described how the game went from start to finish for Red Bulls II.

I think, one of the big focuses tonight was making sure we got off to a good start and I thought we did that pretty well. We got the first couple chances of the game and we played pretty well until our first goal and that after, at the end of the first half, we were kind of holding on a little bit and we give up a penalty kick and A.J. saves us again. Credit to him, he got one very well-deserved shutout, but overall, we carried the game and we were able to put a lot into it.

A.J. Marcucci was named Man of the Match for earning a shutout in the last home game of the season but also for his penalty save in the 34th minute of tonight's match which kept momentum on the home team's side. Marcucci discussed what he and his teammates did so well tonight.

We aren’t giving up set piece goals, early on we were giving up a lot and now we’re defensively strong and that’s what really is big. We’re key in those moments and then also when teams are coming at us through transition, my back four and sixes are doing great to stop balls before they come in and once in a while, I’ll make a save but in front of me, we’re doing great right now.

The Red Bulls II have two more games remaining in their season, which includes ending the season against Loudoun United in Virginia. Young players like Stephen Sserwada who made his debut tonight will be looking to earn all the minutes he can going forward.

Marcucci had one of his best games tonight and described what he took away in terms of confidence from the victory.

We won obviously tonight so good confidence going into it and then with Miami, those are probably my best games that I’ve played personally against Miami, so just go in there, getting at least a point, hopefully three, and just to keep the confidence and get the young kids to just keep playing.


Anthony Paradiso
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