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Red Bulls II to Face Indy Eleven in First Round Playoff Match

After ending the 2019 season with three road losses, the Baby Bulls have finished in sixth place in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship. The Baby Bulls will go to Indianapolis to play the Indy Eleven in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 PM.

The best part of the Red Bulls II team this season has been their offense. The Baby Bulls scored a club record 74 goals in 2019. Any player will tell you that winning games requires a team effort. On Saturday, the Red Bulls II did not play well defensively and gave up too many goals on plays they normally would prevent.

The Red Bulls II were down three goals, when Stroud opened up the scoring for the visitors. Midfielder Vincent Bezecourt took a shot that was saved by Loudoun goalkeeper Calle Brown. Stroud was waiting on the far post and scored the rebound. The goal was the New Jersey native’s team-leading fifteenth goal of the season and his 24th point which is a club record.

The Red Bulls II earned two penalty-kicks, but could not score on either of them. 19-year-old forward Mathias Jorgenson rang the first spot-kick off the crossbar and then could not score the rebound. Bezecourt missed the second Red Bulls’ spot-kick. Loudoun took advantage of the Baby Bulls’ confusion at the back to score seven.

The match was out of the Bulls’ reach, when Omar Sowe scored his second goal of the season in the 90th minute. The eighteen-year-old from Harrison, New Jersey received a pass and finished with his right foot. It was a beautiful goal that showcased the young forward’s scoring touch.

Sowe’s emergence as a viable striker makes him a candidate to sub-in late in games and provide a goal if necessary. It is not certain if they will go with either Tom Barlow and Mathias Jorgenson at the striker position in their upcoming playoff match.

The Playoff Picture

For the Baby Bulls, the season ended on a low note. They lost their last three games on the road, where they have struggled. At home, they have a 11-3 record. They have played better at home than they have on the road.

The Red Bulls II ended the season with three consecutive losses against North Carolina FC, Birmingham Legion and Loudoun United. North Carolina FC finished right behind the Red Bulls II in seventh place.

The Baby Bulls are 11-3-3 this season at home, but compared to their first round opponent that is not a major advantage. The Indy Eleven were 13-0-4 at home, including a 1-0 defeat against the Red Bulls II on September 4.

The Baby Bulls will be looking to turn around their 1-5-1 record since they lost 1-0 in Indianapolis on September fourth. Before that, The Red Bulls II were 4-2. Jared Stroud and the raging bulls will be looking to get back on track with a win on the road. The Red Bulls II have not won a road game since they defeated the first-seed Nashville SC 2-1 on August 21st.

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Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.
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