After limiting opponents to two goals a game in their last three, fatigue after a road trip to Florida seemed to get to the Philadelphia Union II in a 6-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday.
Union II headed to North Jersey for a 5 p.m. kickoff coming off a 2-0 loss Sunday at Tampa Bay Rowdies, where the young squad held up against a much older and more experienced Rowdies attack. Prior to that they returned to play after positive Covid-19 tests had forced three straight postponements with a narrow 2-1 loss to Atlanta United 2 at home.
Interim head coach Marlon LeBlanc, still without forwards Shaynder Borgelin and Yomi Scintu and midfielder Zach Zandi, started Paxten Aaronson up top with Jack Jasinski and had first team goalkeeper Matt Freese available on loan to start in goal. Right back Nathan Harriel was back starting after returning from injury off the bench in their last match.
Freese was tested early when he conceded a penalty inside the box in the 8th minute but he was able to guess the right way and make the penalty stop to keep things scoreless. The Union homegrown goalkeeper, who hadn’t earned minutes in a game since he started Union II’s season opener back in March, had plenty to do with waves of Red Bulls attacks. Things stayed scoreless after the Red Bulls hit a couple shots off the woodwork until Omar Sowe got beyond the defense and muscled Ben Ofeimu off the ball before putting it past Freese.
The 19-year-old Sowe would tack on a second goal on a chip over Freese after Cape May Court House native Joseph Fala sent a long ball to him two minutes later to suddenly give the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Sowe would later complete the hat trick with a low shot in the box off a square ball from Caden Clark, but it was the 17-year-old Clark who dominated the second half and turned a close game into a decisive blowout.
The Minnesota native, who the Union also tried to recruit to their academy before he joined Red Bulls and later signed a USL contract, fought his way through the Union defense to set up 16-year-old Dantouma Toure for a tap-in (officially the goal is listed as unassisted) in the 72nd minute and after setting Sowe up for his hat trick scored two goals of his own in the final eight minutes of regulation to make it 6-0.
The Union were able to create 10 shots on the day (to the Red Bulls 12) but only put two on target from Jack McGlynn on an easily saved free kick just after halftime and one from substitute Sean Bettenhausen in the 84th minute he was unable to generate enough power on after a well-placed long pass from Dante Huckaby. Center back Brandan Craig, wearing the captain’s armband for the third straight match, had a couple of tantalizing chances but overall it was a tough day on both sides of the ball for the visitors.
The loss was their worst since falling 6-0 to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at home on July 18 in the first game back from the season being shut down because of Covid-19. Up next, Union II will travel to Virginia to take on Loudoun United on Saturday at 7 p.m.
NYRB – Omar Sowe (Boima Cummins) 45’
NYRB – Omar Sowe (Joseph Fala) 45+2’
NYRB – Dantouma Toure (unassisted) 72’
NYRB – Omar Sowe (Caden Clark) 74’
NYRB – Caden Clark (Deri Corfe) 82’
NYRB – Caden Clark (Dantouma Toure) 90’
Philadelphia Union II: Matt Freese, Nathan Harriel (Steve Kingue 62’), Brandan Craig, Ben Ofeimu (Danny Flores 45’), Anthony Sorenson, David Rabadán, Dante Huckaby, Paxten Aaronson, Selmir Miscic (Axel Picazo 45’), Jack McGlynn (Sean Bettenhausen 78’), Jack Jasinski (Patrick Bohui 68’)
Substitutes not used: Ben Martino, Jamoi Topey
New York Red Bulls II: Wallis Lapsley, John Tolkin, Joseph Fala, Joseph Zalinsky, Boima Cummins (Samad Bounthong 80’), Chris Lema, Barry Sharifi (Kenan Hot 80’), Caden Clark, Jake Lacava (Edgardo Rito 68’), Cherif Dieye (Dantouma Toure 45’), Omar Sowe (Deri Corfe 79’)
Substitutes not used: Roy Boateng, Ciaran Dalton