May 29: Red Bulls 2, Reading United 0
And the Red Bulls move on.
It wasn't pretty in the first half, but the Red Bulls got two in the second half and that was enough to see Reading off.
There's not a ton to comment on here. The Red Bulls were supposed to beat Reading, and they did. They'll move on to face the New England Revolution June 12 at Harvard University's Soldiers Field.
- I thought Lloyd Sam looked really good in the second half. Granted, it's an amateur team made up of college kids, but during his performance it was hard to wonder if he brings more to the midfield than Eric Alexander.
- Ryan Meara made his first appearance of 2013, a little more than 10 months after suffering a season ending injury and subsequently having season ending surgery in August.
- I'm not sure if it's fair to say "finally," since Hans Backe actually played lip service to the tournament last year, but it's good to see Mike Petke is taking the Open Cup seriously. Not that I expected him not to...
- I don't usually include opposing players in the "Positives" section of my game recaps, but John McCarthey, a sophomore at LaSalle University, had a hell of a game in goal for Reading.
- The Red Bulls are still in the tournament. That might sound mundane, but guess who isn't? The Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids or LA Galaxy. In a knockout tournament like this, that's always a positive.
- It really shouldn't have taken the Red Bulls a half to get their first goal...
Sam, via the New York Post...
"When the first one went in we knew there would be more," said Sam. "It was relief when that went in because obviously there was a lot of expectation on us."
Dax McCarty, via the Post...
"This is their World Cup, their biggest game of the year. They work hard and make it tough for us," said McCarty. "The key was patient buildup. They're going to have a lot of industry and work hard but you have to have patience and build through them."
Petke, via Empire of Soccer...
"Ryan Meara is still smiling," head coach Mike Petke said. "I had to tell him during the game to stop smiling - you know he's got to be an intimidating presence."
Meara, via Empire of Soccer...
"I think it took me a couple of minutes to really believe that I was out there again, you know?" Meara said after the match. "It's been almost a year since my last game, but overall I'm happy with how it went. You know, it was nice obviously to get the win is the main thing and I felt pretty comfortable so it was a good first game, nice to get it out of the way."