MONTCLAIR, N.J. (July 26, 2019) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies suffered their first road loss of the season Friday night, falling 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls II at MSU Soccer Park in a clash between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Tampa Bay (12-2-7, 43 points) retains first place despite the defeat, though the gap has narrowed to two points heading into Saturday night’s USL Championship matches.
It was a near mirror image of the first meeting of the season between the teams, when the Rowdies beat New York (12-4-5, 41 points) 2-0 at home on May 18. In both matches, the home team was reduced to 10 men in the second half but went on to win 2-0 anyway.
The Rowdies started the match well with Lucky Mkosana beating Red Bulls goalkeeper in the eighth minute only to see the goal come off the board due to the offside flag. Tampa Bay looked the better side for the opening quarter of an hour only for New York to take a lead against the run of play in the 17th minute.
Tampa Bay center back Tarek Morad underhit a pass backward to Rowdies goalkeeper Macklin Robinson, who unsuccessfully attempted to win the ball from Red Bulls forward Mathias Jorgensen outside his box before Jorgensen slotted home.
Robinson started the match in place of usual starter John McCarthy, who was scratched due to a minor injury. McCarthy is day-to-day.
The Rowdies came close to equalizing in the 33rd minute when Sebastian Guenzatti stole the ball from a New York defender only for Red Bulls goalkeeper Evan Louro to make a point blank save to preserve his side’s leave.
New York raced to the other end and made the Rowdies pay just 45 minutes later as Jorgensen scored his second goal of the opening half to put the Red Bulls up 2-0.
Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins emptied his bench of forwards in the second half but Tampa Bay was unable to find a way back into the match, even after Kyle Duncan was dismissed in the 62nd minute after receiving his second yellow card.
The Rowdies put five shots on target but did not convert any.
Tampa Bay will return to action next weekend in Charleston before returning home to host Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday, August 10 at 7:30. Tickets are available here.
New York: Mathias Jorgensen - 17th minute
New York: Mathias Jorgensen - 34th minute (assisted by John Tolkin)
Tampa Bay: Sebastian Guenzatti - 23rd minute
New York: Kyle Duncan - 27th minute
Tampa Bay: Pape Diakite - 37th minute
New York: Tom Barlow - 47th minute
New York: Chris Lema - 51st minute
New York: Kyle Duncan - 62nd minute (second yellow, red card)
New York: Rece Buckmaster - 88th minute
New York: Sean Nealis - 90+4 minute
Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK Macklin Robinson; D Tarek Morad, Pape Diakite, Caleb Richards; M Malik Johnson, Kwadwo Poku, Zach Steinberger (Jaime Siaj 46'), Dom Oduro (Yann Ekra 72'), Leo Fernandes; F Sebastian Guenzatti (c), Lucky Mkosana (Juan Tejada 68')
New York XI (4-4-2): GK Evan Louro (c); D Kyle Duncan, Sean Nealis, Jordan Scarlett, Rece Buckmaster; M John Tolkin (Janos Loebe 73'), Chris Lema, Jared Stroud, Marcus Epps (Sebastian Elney 80'); F Mathias Jorgensen (Bryce Lebel 67'), Tom Barlow