MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Red Bulls II opened their new home venue at Montclair State University with a 1-0 victory over the Richmond Strikers Satruday.
Red Bulls first-round draft choice Zeiko Lewis made his NYRB II debut and asserted himself on the pitch scoring the game-winner in the 69th minute off an attempted bicycle kick from Hasan Ndam that deflected to the feet of Lewis as he tapped it in easily.
Red Bulls II dominated the match in nearly every category with a 58-42 ball-possession advantage as well as holding a 16-5 shot margin.
“It just seems right to come to a new home and come away with three points,” Red Bulls head coach John Wolyniec said. “They made a great environment for our players here and the players did their job on the field to create a great atmosphere for the fans I think and I think we played some exciting soccer today and it wasn’t always perfect but a lot of good things today.”
Prior to the kickoff, the Red Bulls II’s USL Cup championship banner was unveiled.
“Of course, one of the emphasis’s coming into this game was to defend our home and you know, this is a new home for us and we wanted to put a stamp on that and make the other team feel it,” Wolyniec said.
Richmond nearly struck first in the 65th minute as Mikey Minutillo rung a shot off the crossbar. Richmond never really threatened New York keeper Evan Louro, who was making his professional debut between the posts.
“They’re a tough team to play against,” Wolyniec said. “They defend well, they’re organized, they work hard, we knew that coming in, and sometimes with a team like that you got to be patient and put your foot on the gas and keep pushing the game.”
NYRB II return to action in a short turnaround Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena for a 7 p.m. kickoff against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
New York: Louro; Najem (Tim Schmoll, 89th minute), Bilyeu, Ndam, Kutler; Bezecourt, Metzger, Basuljevic, Lewis (Andrew Tinari, 73rd minute); Valot, Flemmings (Ben Mines, 66th minute)
Richmond: Turner; E. Lee (Anthony Grant, 81st minute), Shanosky, Roberts, A. Lee; Tissot, Troyer, Durkin; Nascimento (Raul Gonzalez, 64th minute), Minutillo, Asante (Fred Owusu Sekyere, 64th minute)
NY: Lewis (69′)
RIC: Yellow: Durkin 48′, E. Lee 77′
NY: Yellow: Valot 41′