PITTSBURGH – Former Red Bulls forward Corey Hertzog scored in the 81st minute to lift the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to a wild 3-3 draw with Red Bulls II in the United Soccer League season for both teams Saturday night.

The Red Bulls’ title defense got off to a fast start as returning playmaker Florian Valot scored in the sixth minute off a assist from Red Bulls loanee Arun Basuljevic.

The Riverhounds didn’t trail for long as Hertzog struck for the first of two goals, beating Red Bulls II keeper Rafael Diaz to a 50-50 ball and tapped one in to equalize.

Newly signed Red Bulls II player Andrew Tinari made his professional debut, assisting on a Vincent Bezecourt left-footed strike that beat the Pittsburgh keeper in the 16th minute.

Riverhounds captain Kevin Kerr knotted things up at 2-2 before the half as he toe poked a shot past Diaz.

Neither side made a change at the half and both teams slowed the pace considerably.

In the 76th minute, Red Bulls academy product Ben Mines drew a penalty inside the box taken down from behind by a Pittsburgh defender. Bezecourt buried one into the back of the net to reclaim the lead at 3-2.

That lead wouldn’t last long as Hassan Ndam was called for a penalty in the box three minutes later. Hertzog would be denied on his first attempt by Diaz, and nearly was denied again on the rebound but the ball slipped underneath the body of the keeper.

Red Bulls II return home for their USL home opener at their new facility at MSU Soccer Park, on the campus of Montclair State University at 4 p.m. on April 1 against the Richmond Kickers.


New York: Diaz; Najem, Ndam, Schmoll, Kutler; Basuljevic, Tinari (Kevin O’Toole, 71st minute); Bezecourt, Abidor; Valot, Flemmings (Ben Mines, 58th minute)

Pittsburgh: Broome; Washington, Agbossoumonde (Ryan Adeleye, 56th minute), Jack, Balchan; Thompson (Kay Banjo, 77th minute), (Ben Swanson, 62nd minute), Souto, Okai, Hollingsworth; Kerr, Hertzog

PGH: Hertzog (9′, 81′), Kerr (39′)

NY: Valot (6′),Bezecourt (16′, 76′)


PGH: Yellow:Okai 48′, Hollingsworth 59′, Hertzog 75′, Souto 77′, Adeleye 87′
NY: None

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.