HARRISON, N.J. – Red Bulls II continued to experience problems putting together a winning streak as the team went down to a 3-0 defeat to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Red Bull Arena Saturday night.
After all three wins by NYRBII (3-7-0) this USL Championship season, the squad suffered a loss.
Pittsburgh (8-3-0), which leads Group F, scored its goals during a 13-minute stretch that spanned halftime in the closed-door match.
“Today was more individual breakdowns on the goals,” Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec said. “We’ve given up a lot of softer goals this year, at pretty inopportune moments so, I keep thinking about how we can help these guys and prepare them for these moments they get themselves into.”
Ropapa Mensah, off a Raymond Lee feed, gave the visitors all the scoring they needed in the 45th minute.
Six minutes into the second half, an own goal by New York defender Preston Kilwien helped Pittsburgh double the score before Robbie Mertz closed out the scoring with an unassisted) goal in the 58th minute.
“At the end of the day, some of these teams like Pittsburgh and Hartford especially, even Loudoun and Philly, if you’re making mistakes in key moments, this game is going to punish you big time,” Wolyniec said, adding that his team has “to find a way to be a little more mindful in those moments so we can put the game more on our terms.”
Midfielder Chris Lema thought the team played well early on, but could not keep the same pace as the game wore on.
“We started off hot,” he said. “We played a pretty good first 45 minutes but I think there was a lack of energy in the second half and the result showed it. I think going forward if we just stick to the mentality that we had in the first half and work on, I guess the slight errors that we made in the second half, we can surely turn this around.”
One current Red Bulls Academy player started the match, with Dantouma “Yaya” Toure earning his seventh appearance and second start. Three other current RB Academy players, Bo Cummins, Tapiwa Shumba and Kenan Hot, subbed into the match.
NYRB II hosts Philadelphia Union II in a rescheduled match Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.