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Recap: Rafanello's Brace Powers NYRB II Past Charlotte

In a physical match that featured everything, including scuffles and red cards, Jeremy Rafanello scored two goals and bagged an assist as the New York Red Bulls II earned a hard-fought victory against the Charlotte Independence 3-1.

The team returned home to MSU Soccer Park on Friday night, still looking for their first win in front of their home supporters and most importantly, snapping their three-match losing streak. Head Coach John Wolyniec wanted his team to put the match on their terms for a change. And right at kickoff, they did just that.

Deploying the press and putting the Independence on their heels, they were rewarded in the 8th minute when Rolad Mitchell, on a break, raced through the Charlotte defense. His initial shot was first blocked away by goalkeeper Brandon Miller. Still, Mitchell regained possession of the rebound, fired a low ball over to Jeremy Rafanello, who buried the ball in the back of the net for the early lead. 

They nearly doubled the lead during a wild sequence at the 30th minute. Jeremy Rafanello tried to chip the ball over Miller, but his shot would bounce off the bar, making the Charlotte Independence defenders scramble to block every secondary shot afterward.

But Jeremy Rafanello would not be denied in the 34th minute, taking a pass from Daniel Edelman and letting loose a blistering low shot that somehow went through Charlotte goalkeeper Brandon Miller and into the net, doubling the lead for the home side.

The Red Bulls would tack on another goal as Jeremy Rafanello's pass knifed through the Charlotte midfield, finding Rolad Mitchell on a counter, and he did not miss, slotting home his chance in the 62nd minute, putting the home side up by three.

Charlotte finally got on the board just six minutes later, when Red Bulls II midfielder Michael Knapp would be called for a handball in the box, forward Dane Kelly would convert the penalty kick shortly afterward. From there, both sides would be involved with hard tackles resulting in testy shoving matches as the Independence would try to get back into the match. 

And with the match itself getting feistier and chippier by the minute, tackles and fouls were aplenty. Charlotte defender Kevin Riascos was sent off with a red card in the 77th minute, fouling Jake LaCava with a high elbow at his, face sending him to the showers for the evening.

When the final whistle was blown by referee Natalie Simon, the New York Red Bulls would finally get their first win at home, second in the 2021 campaign, and earn a satisfactory result before heading off to Pittsburgh to take on the Riverhounds next Friday evening.

Starting XI:

New York Red Bulls II: New York Red Bulls II: Luca Lewis, Joseph Zalinsky, Mandela Egbo (c), Emir Tombul, Juan Castillo (John Cortez 86'), Daniel Edelman, Michael Knapp (Austin Brummett 86'), Jeremy Rafanello (8', 34')(Matthew Acosta 74'), Jake LaCava (Max Andrews 90+4'), Omar Sowe, Rolad Mitchell (62')(Serge Ngoma 74')

Charlotte Independence: Brandon Miller (c), Hugh Roberts, Kevin Riascos, Clay Dimick, Christian Dean, Jordan Bender (Thomas de Villardi 45'), Brunallergene Etou (Irvin Parra 45'), Marcelo Palomino (Marcelo Sabella 65'), Jake Areman, Brandt Bronico, Dane Kelly (69' - PK)

Scoring Summary:

8' (New York Red Bulls II) Jeremy Rafanello
34' (New York Red Bulls II) Jeremy Rafanello, assisted by Daniel Edelman
62' New York Red Bulls II) Rolad Mitchell, assisted by Jeremy Rafanello
77' (Charlotte Independence) Dane Kelly (converted penalty kick)

Disciplinary Summary:

12' (New York Red Bulls II) Emir Tombul - Yellow Card/Foul
37' (Charlotte Independence) Jake Arman - Yellow Card/Foul
40' (New York Red Bulls II) Michael Knapp - Yellow Card/Foul
58' (New York Red Bulls II) Joseph Zalinsky - Yellow Card/Argument
58' (New York Red Bulls II) Jeremy Rafanello Yellow Card/Argument
72' (Charlotte Independence) Christian Dean - Yellow Card/Foul
77' (Charlotte Independence) Kevin Riacios - Red Card/Serious Foul
78' (Charlotte Independence) Brandon Miller - Yellow Card/Dissent
87' (New York Red Bulls II) Madela Egbo - Yellow Card/Foul


  1. I think Roald Mitchell should eventually be called into the first team if he continues this type of form.


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