Is a Red Bulls-Cosmos Open Cup Match-up in the Works?

USA TODAY Sports

The Cosmos are setting their sights high in this year's Open Cup, and the regional draw means they're likely heading for a showdown with the Red Bulls.

While many are fixed on the cross-town rivalry (Subway Derby?) between the Red Bulls and NYCFC set to commence in 2015, there's a much immediate regional rival for the Red Bulls to deal with: the New York Cosmos.

Cosmos head coach -- and MetroStars legend -- Giovanni Savarese spoke to the media last week on the NASL side's hopes making their maiden voyage into the tournament. He said "we hopefully want to go as far as we can," but wouldn't get into a potential Red Bulls-Cosmos match-up.

Don't worry, Gio, you don't have to, because with the Open Cup's regional draws, it's a virtual certainty that the Cosmos would play the Red Bulls (if the Cosmos get that far). And they'd do it in a match tentatively scheduled for June 11 or June 14-15, during the league's World Cup break.

While many Cosmos fans believe they should be treating the Open Cup with the utmost seriousness as a way to return to the promised land of Pele, Beckenbauer and 80,000+ at Giants Stadium, the more sensible ones are debating the merits of prioritizing the competition. It's no guarantee the Cosmos make it through, either. Last season, there were a few fourth division on second division beatings, with Minnesota United losing to the Des Moines Menace and FC Tuscon beating the San Antonio Scorpions on penalties. The Laredo Heat lost to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, but not before forcing their NASL competitors to penalties.

If the Cosmos-Red Bulls match-up happens (Commuter Rail Derby?) it wouldn't be the first time the Red Bulls have played a metro-area opponent. In 2011, they beat horribly mismanaged FC New York, of the then-second third division USL.

But suffice it to say, that game didn't have the rivalry implications this one would. And to make it all better, the Red Bulls would be able to field a pretty close to full strength line-up, should the game happen, as it would be the team's only game during the two-plus week World Cup break.

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