HANOVER, N.J. – In their first preseason match against a United Soccer League foe, Red Bulls II tied the Harrisburg City Islanders, 1-1, at the Red Bulls Training Facility Wednesday.
The hosts used a few first-team players ahead of the MLS club ’s home opener at Red Bull Arena Saturday.
Newly acquired Panamanian international Michael Murillo made his debut putting in a 62-minute shift.
“It was a bit windy, so it made the game difficult to play in, but I think our guys were committed,” Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec said. “We worked hard, we put a lot in to the game, dominated long stretches, and we got a good goal.”
The wind dictated much of first-half play as neither team recorded a shot until the 15th minute. Red Bulls II picked up the pace and pressure as they almost took the lead in the 34th minute off a Florian Valot 1 v 1 opportunity, foiled by the Harrisburg goalkeeper.
Only one change was made to start the second half as Zeiko Lewis came on for Mike Grella.
Some tactical changes were made and Red Bulls II continued to control the tempo of the game. Those changes led to New York’s goal in the 64th minute when Valot buried a cross in from Vincent Bezecourt.
That score line held up with few chances for either side until the 83rd minute when Tim Schmoll was called for a foul inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty kick to Harrisburg, which it converted.
“It certainly wasn’t our best day of soccer,” Wolyniec said. “There are certainly some things to work on, so it’s good to get guys from the first-team some 90-minute games in for guys who haven’t gotten in for awhile, but at the same time taking little steps toward the beginning of the season and you know Harrisburg put up a great fight.”
NY: Florian Valot 64’
Red Bulls II lineup:
Ryan Meara; Justin Bilyeu (Brett Nason, 75’), Tim Schmoll, David Abidor, Michael Murillo (Hassan Ndam 62’); Dan Metzger, Arun Basuljevic; Mike Grella (Zeiko Lewis, 45’), Vincent Bezecourt; Brandon Allen (Bradley Nestor, 83’), Florian Valot