NY Red Bulls II Edge Swope Park Rangers in USL Cup Final
The NY Red Bulls II captured the 2016 USL Cup Championship on Sunday with a convincing win over the Swope Park Rangers. Forward Brandon Allen recorded a hat-trick on the night as the Red Bulls conclude the season with a 25-3-6 record.
NYRBII became the first team to hoist silverware at Red Bull Arena as the club finished the season with a record of 25-3-6. Red Bulls II join the Rochester Rhinos as the second consecutive team to win the regular season title and the USL Cup.
Head coach John Wolyniec commented, “These guys have been great. When you have a team that has different heroes each and every week, when you have guys who when you change players from week to week and everybody seems to step up, that’s a good feeling as a coach, because you know the message is coming through, and the guys are together and buying in and pushing themselves and picking each other up, and doing all of the things that we would call teamwork.”
Derrick Etienne Jr. opened the scoring for New York in the 18th minute with shot into the bottom, right corner from outside the 18-yard box. Brandon Allen then added his first of three goals in the 39th minute to give the Red Bulls the 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Tomas Granitto brought the match within one in the 74th minute for the Rangers, but Allen would record his hat-trick in the next 15 minutes to put New York in the driver’s seat.
Allen was named the championship MVP for contributing to four of the five goals. He is a finalist for 2016 USL MVP after a 15-goal regular season, as well as leading all USL players with six goals during the postseason.
“It’s amazing, but I wouldn’t be able to have those achievements without my teammates,” said Allen. “They’ve been there for me the whole season. They’ve been a big part of that success.”
Following a record-breaking regular season that featured a single-season mark of 61 goals, NYRBII wrap up 2016 with an impressive 14-game unbeaten streak (13-0-1) dating back to early August.
Congratulations, Red Bulls! Best of luck to the first team as the MLS Playoffs prepare to kick off!
Photo Credit: Ben Solomon/NY Red Bulls II