Revenge has come. Finally revenge has come to the New York Red Bulls as they finally defeat the Philadelphia Union in the fifth round of the US Open Cup with a five to three Shootout final after going thru regulation and a extra time with a one all draw.
The first two rounds went well for both sides as they converted their penalties with ease. After Daniel Royer converted his chance in the third round it was Fafa Picault who tried to level things up and met his match.
When Picault stepped up to take the spot kick, he shot it to the far post and Ryan Meara who hasn’t been used at all to start a league match because of the play from Luis Robles, makes a big time right handed save that hit off the post and then ricocheted off his left foot and out for a huge save.
Both sides converted in the fourth round as the Red Bulls led four penalties to three till Felipe stepped up to take his spot kick. With plenty of confidence and power on the shot, Felipe smashes it inside the near post and sends the New York Red Bulls to the Quarterfinals where they will travel to Boston and face the New England Revolution on the campus of Harvard University.
“To find a way to get a result was very big for us, it just feels like this is the kind of year we have to earn every inch and we can’t be afraid of that.” said Jesse Marsch, “We have to grind it out, finding waysto win and finding ways to get better and emerge. It wasn’t a perfect night, but a huge night for us to find a way to get us a result.”
The Red Bulls began the match with a new formation with a 3-6-1 and it worked very well in the opening forty-five minutes as Sacha Kljestan who’s had an off season so far was able to bury his third open cup goal as a member of the Red Bulls.
In the 42nd minute a solid job by Sean Davis to take the ball away from the Union and makes a great pass to Bradley Wright-Phillips who finds Sacha Kljestan all alone and he buries the chance. Not a single Union defender on Kljestan and he was able to convert.
“Bradley did really well to take a good first touch to turn his defender and played a perfect pass around the penalty spot and fortunately it went in.” said Kljestan, “It felt good to finally get a goal this season it’s been way to long and nice to get the monkey off my back.”
But late in the second half the Union found a way to level the score to make the visiting supporters happy, Roland Alberg from just inside the area converted his chance. A looping ball from Jack Elliott found Alberg onside and rips it home.
Ryan Meara was spectacular in goal tonight as he made several solid saves to keep the ball out of the net. He made a double save on Fafa Picault in the 18th minute as he stopped him on a breakaway and the second chance was deflected off of Damien Perrinelle which forced Meara to make a big right handed parry save.
We all know that Luis Robles did earn his contract extension, but Ryan Meara knows he needs to be ready whenever his name gets called. “I’m a competitor, I want to play. I believe in my ability, I believe I can be a starter in this league.” said Meara, “Getting stuck behind Luis isn’t always easy, he’s the iron man in this league for four or five years.
I try to approach it every week like I’m the guy playing on the weekend and when a night like tonight does come, then I will be ready.”
And now the Red Bulls will take a trip to Boston as they will face the New England Revolution and once again they will face them first in league play after the 4th of July, then a week later it will be back in the US Open Cup.
Another crazy, quirky scheduling snafu for the Red Bulls with their continued quest for hardware in the US Open Cup, two matches down and three to go, but they must play in the Quarterfinals first.