The New York Red Bulls beat the Charleston Battery 3-0 in their first game of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup last night. After Charleston controlled the first ten minutes of play, New York settled into the match with an early score from Kenny Cooper followed by Heath Pearce's first goal in a Red Bulls uniform toward the end of the first half.
Connor Lade also scored his first goal as a Red Bull in the second half with a perfectly placed shot from distance that the Charleston keeper had no chance of stopping. Mehdi Ballouchy played well and set up two of New York's goals, and Dax McCarty was a major force in the midfield until being subbed off in the 88th minute for Ryan Maduro. The only notable disappointment to the game was the performance of Jhonny Arteaga. Shortly after the Red Bulls announced young forward Corey Hertzog was being loaned out for a month, Arteaga earned his first start but failed to impress over his ninety minutes.
Arteaga may have another shot if Thierry Henry is again held out for next week's Open Cup Fourth Round matchup against the Harrisburg Islanders. In their third round match last night, Harrisburg conceded three goals in stoppage time to the New England Revolution, then came back with three of their own in a nine minute span, and ultimately won by a penalty kick shootout. New York will travel to Harrisburg next Tuesday, June 5th, for a 7:30 pm matchup. After the horrendous camera work and feed for the live stream of last night's match, New York fans may have to consider a quick drive to Pennsylvania to enjoy the action.
Interestingly, if New York advances to the quarterfinals scheduled for June 26th, they will face either the Philadelphia Union or DC United, the ladder which they will have just played two days prior on June 24th. It's one thing to play a majority of first team players during a two and a half week break in League action for the club, but the Red Bulls' true committment to the Open Cup will be much more clear in a possible Quarterfinal match that comes in the midst of a two-week stretch with four league matches already scheduled.