The New York Red Bulls will be hosting the Atlanta Silverbacks at Red Bull Arena on June 16th. The Silverbacks defeated Chattanooga FC, 2-1, in extra time in their third round match up.
The Silverbacks, established in 1998 as the Atlanta Ruckus (no relation), play in the North American Soccer League (the league right below Major League Soccer in the American Soccer Pyramid). They are currently 7th during the NASL Spring season with a 1-2-5 record. The Silverbacks are managed by Gary Smith who you may remember for leading the Colorado Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup and League One club Stevenage to the brink of promotion in 2012.
The Red Bulls are expected to take the oldest tournament in American history slightly more seriously than they have in years past. Sporting Director Ali Curtis claimed, "We're making the Open Cup a priority. When I think US Open Cup, our players, our coaching staff, myself, all the guys in the business office, the US Open Cup is a huge priority. We want to be successful in that. Five games and we’ve got a chance to lift a trophy? That’s awesome. That’s foregone conclusion.’’
Make sure you go to the Open Cup match. They're usually sparsely attended, but a lot of fun. There's something magical about a soccer stadium that's 75% empty. It's like you have the whole place to yourself. You can spread out, enjoy a match with the true diehards, and take away memories from the time you were there for that super exciting Open Cup match. Also the bathroom and concessions lines are short.