BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Red Bulls II season of inconsistency continued Sunday night as they dropped a 2-0 decision to Bethlehem Steel FC at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University.
Bethlehem’s clean sheet snapped NYRB’s II 22-game road scoring streak dating back to the 2015 United Soccer League season. The visitors’ record fell to 6-8-3 while Bethlehem (8-6-2, 26) extended its unbeaten streak to seven games.
NYRBII coach John Wolyniec had a simple explanation on what went wrong.
“Pretty sure we got outworked, out pressed, and out counter pressed,” he said. “Just not a great effort from our guys top to bottom. It was disappointing.”
Defender Tim Schmoll concurred.
“It is definitely disappointing,” he said. “After playing them so recently then getting a chance to get a stab at them after a disappointing first run out at home. I really think we only have ourselves to blame and that is kind of the feeling in the locker room. It is not like we went out there and did exactly what we wanted to do and got beat. I think we just did not execute the simple game points that we put out before the game.”
New York nearly opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Vincent Bezecourt chested the ball to his left foot and ripped a shot towards goal, but Bethlehem goalkeeper Jake McGuire made a diving stop.
“Not so concerned on finishing the chances, we created chances,” Wolyniec said. “I am more disappointed in our effort and approach mentalities. I just can’t get past that.”
In the 17th minute, Chris Nanco got Steel on the board, slipping a ball behind the defense and slotting one past a diving goalkeeper Evan Louro.
Bethlehem tacked on another goal by Fabian Herbers in the 31st minute to grab a 2-0 halftime lead.
“First and foremost the back line has itself to blame,” Schmoll said. “As leaders on the field I think we need to step it up as a back four to keep things tight and keep us in the game early. We need to let ourselves establish us as a unit in the game. As a full eleven out there, I think back to front we were a little incoherent.”
Wolyniec made one change at the half bringing on Honduran international Douglas Martinez in place of Brandon Allen.
The change nearly paid dividends in the 53rd minute with Hassan Ndam heading home a set-piece opportunity but the referee called it back due to contact with a Bethlehem player.
Red Bulls II came close on multiple opportunities in the four minutes of stoppage time.
New York returns to Pennsylvania to face the Harrisburg City Islanders with a 7 p.m. kickoff Wednesday.
Asked about squad rotation because the Red Bulls will play three games over the next six games, Wolyniec replied, “I am way more concerned with effort and commitment, so my decisions will be made off of that.”
New York: Louro; Kutler, Ndam (81st minute, Davida Abidor), Schmoll, Najem; Basuljevic, Mezger; Lewis, Bezecourt, Etienne, Jr.; Allen (45th minute, Douglas Martinez)
Bethlehem: McGuire; Jones, Tribbett, Trusty, Real, Chambers, Najem, Fontana, Herbers (61st minute, Amoy Brown), Moar (86th minute, Josh Heard), Nanco (71st minute, Yosef Samuel)
Bethlehem: Nanco 17,’ Herbers 31′
New York: Etienne, Jr. 34′
Bethlehem: Herbers 32′ Nanco 66′ Brown 72′