HARRISON, NJ – FC Cincinnati suffered a 2-0 loss to New York Red Bulls II to drop into a tie for third in the USL Eastern Conference standings Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena.
FCC, which secured a playoff berth following a loss by Bethlehem Steel FC and a tie by Wilmington Hammerheads FC, find themselves deadlocked with Richmond for third following the Kickers’ 1-0 win over Orlando FC yesterday.
It was an uphill battle for FCC from the beginning after goalie Mitch Hildebrandt was issued a red card for tripping up Brandon Allen in the ninth minute of action following a video review. Eric Stevenson made the trek off the pitch and FCC would have to play a man down the rest of the way as well as a goal down after Allen’s conversion on the ensuing penalty kick.
Dallas Jaye took over duties in goal for Hildebrandt, logging his first USL minutes of the year. Prior to his stint today, Jaye had an appearance and was the winning goalkeeper in FCC’s U.S. Open Cup win, a 2-1 decision, against Indy Eleven.
NYRBII continued to put the Orange and Blue under duress in the first half as Allen took a shot just outside the six-yard box in the 17th minute with Jaye deflecting the attempt. The Red Bulls II had another opportunity in the 46th minute following an FCC foul but Derrick Etienne’s try sailed high.
FCC had few opportunities in the half. Andrew Wiedeman looked to re-create his goal in the win against Richmond late in the period but his attempt on the free kick bounced wide of the goal.
Jaye was tested again early in the second half as Devon Williams took a shot at the FCC goal in the 52nd minute but the Danville, CA native was up to the task, smothering the attempt.
In the 64th minute, FCC went on the offensive. Weideman sent in a ball from the right flank with two targets in sight but his cross just brushed over the leaping Jimmy McLaughlin and drifted out of the reach of a sliding Sean Okoli in what was FCC’s first solid threat of the second period.
FCC gave a strong effort despite playing shorthanded but saw their effort hampered further in the 90th minute after Red Bulls II were awarded a second penalty kick. Okoli was issued a card for a foul in the box and Etienne would capitalize, knocking the ball past Jaye to give New York a 2-0 lead and cap the scoring.
Red Bull II goalie Ryan Meara made one save for the home side while Jaye registered four saves.
FCC, which had a five-match unbeaten streak halted, moves on to Charlotte Independence next Wed., (Aug. 31) at 7:00 p.m. to determine the Queen City Cup winner.