The ten-day wait is over. The New York Red Bulls defeated New York City FC in their fourth round US Open Cup match with a one goal, clean sheet, victory. They will now be ready for the blue side of NYC in their opening league match of the year.
The Red Bulls are undefeated at home, with four straight wins against the neighbors who play in that big ballpark of baseball in the Bronx. Being undefeated at home is always a good thing. At the moment, the record is just tipping in the Red Bulls favor, with the Red team having won six of the first seven matches since this whole thing got started back in 2015.
In their last meeting, NYCFC made a solid start in the Open Cup match. Red Bulls captain, Sacha Kljestan said, “I think they showed in the last game that they have a better grasp of the game physically and athletically.
“They had a couple of new players and had a pretty good start in the Open Cup game, they had a couple of good chances in the first half.” Kljestan added, “Probably better chances than we did so we need to be sharper in this one. When a team that wants to build from the back, we are prepared to match them physically and as they position themselves out of the back, they sprint to their spots.”
Tyler Adams, currently in a stretch of several strong months both with the US U-20’s in the FIFA U-20 World Cup and in MLS play, will sadly miss his graduation today. Instead, he will be in another top class match against the NYC side.
One wonders just how much the eighteen-year-old he critiques himself when he watches game film. “After the Philly Union game as soon as I got home to watch it and I was thinking how things I could’ve done better.” recalled Adams, “Then I remember it’s over with now and how I have to correct it when I get to training on Wednesday.”
Everyone knows the Red Bulls will fully commit to their high pressing system this game, but NYCFC will also be committed to their newfound tactical nuance under Patrick Vieira.
“Well tactics will be the same (as the Open Cup), they want to be committed and rightfully so they got quality players that are good with the ball at their feet and regardless of who they are playing, they will value possession at all times so I don’t expect that to change.” said Luis Robles, “For us of course a couple of weeks ago the Open Cup was a great opportunity for us to advance into the competition and the utmost priority, but with them losing Maxi Morales we took advantage of the situation.”
“So how they remedy that going into this game I don’t believe he will be ready and we have to be mindful of that and it plays into our benefit. As we prepare for this game we can’t keep looking at our position in the table, but we have to find some footing and make some momentum for ourselves. Having Collin back from Injury and Adams back from the US U-20’s helps us a lot.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips will certainly be a key to New York. The club’s all-time leading goal scorer scored eight times in seven matches aginst the rivals across the Hudson. The funny thing about BWP is that he has yet to score a Hat Trick against NYC, instead, tallying three two-goal games. The first match in 2015, the seven-goal destruction in May of 2016, and the final match of that season at Red Bull Arena.
Once again this will be a very interesting situation as, for the last two seasons, New York City has been painted red. This past June 14th it got started once again with a victory in the US Open Cup.
Can the Red Bulls continue to dominate at home? Can they continue to frustrate NYCFC for seasons to come? Right now it’s one match at a time and they are finishing up their Open Cup/League back to back matches and right now the full three points are on the line.