MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Red Bulls II continued their slide by digging a 3-0 hole for themselves in its 3-2 loss to the Charlotte Independence at MSU Soccer Park Saturday.
The United Soccer League side dropped its third consecutive match
The Independence (9-3-4, 31 points) won for a club-best fifth consecutive time.
Red Bull II head coach John Wolyniec admitted there was much more pressure on the team to win at home.
“Definitely. I didn’t want to harp on that in pregame but I talked about it a little bit that we need to start getting points,” he said. “Obviously, this game comes at a tough time against a team that is flying right now. For us to play them in the third game in a week at home, makes these three points hard but we needed them.
“We need points and we got to find a way to get points. I’m more concerned with us getting better and not making mistakes, and learning as we go. I’m more concerned with a little bit of plateauing in the development than points.”
Wolyniec liked some of what he saw on the field.
“You can always see positives and negatives,” he said. The negative is we seem to keep making mistakes. The positive is that we keep fighting and we always seem to have better second halves. Some of that is due to us going down and the other team being content to be ahead, but we keep fighting and we saw some of that today.”
The visitors opened the match with a goal in the 21st minute off a set piece from Jorge Herrera. As the first half hit stoppage-time, Charlotte doubled its lead, sending a ball across the face of the goal that NYRB II defender Hassan Ndam redirected into his own net for a 2-0 lead.
Charlotte added a third in the 53rd minute with Enzo Martinez finishing off a counterattack assisted by Herrera.
NYRB II got on the board in the 82nd minute as David Najem scored his first career goal for New York with a left-footed strike past Charlotte’s Cody Mizell.
Red Bulls II’s Junior Flemmings, who was substituted in in the 61st minute, cut the deficit to one only two minutes later. Flemmings got his head on a Vincent Bezecourt corner kick and inched it over the line.
Najem took solace on the way New York battled back.
“Being down 3-0, we didn’t hang our heads,” he said. “Towards the end, we kept fighting and we can build on that. I think the first thing we have to do is find way not to dig ourselves into holes early in the game. If we figure that out, we definitely have the resiliency to fight back and that’s a good characteristic to have as a team.”
NYRB II will welcome Toronto FC II to MSU Soccer Park Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.