The New York Red Bulls beat the New England Revolution in the US Open Cup 1-0. A late goal by none other than Bradley Wright-Phillips secured the win for New York after a peculiar red card to Revs defender Benjamin Angoua opened the game up a bit.
The Red Bulls again had few chances during the match, with Kljestan having a free kick tipped against the crossbar and Royer firing just wide of the net in the second half. Following the sending off, the Red Bulls were able to control the match a bit more and eventually, Felipe found Wright-Phillips with a great through-ball before the Englishman tipped home the finish in the 87th minute.
In an interview following the win, Wright-Phillips said, “Against a team like them, it’s always a battle, you got to hang in there till the end. If it is them or us, we make sure it us.” This season, it has been the Red Bulls on top of the Revs. They have won three of the three meetings and have done so through late second-half goals. The wins may not be the flashiest or the best matches to watch, but it is the hard-fought wins that make the competition that much more rewarding.
Following the match, Marsch praised the way his team played despite being limited in his selection.
We had a bunch of guys playing different positions than they normally play, we arranged things a little different tactically…and they played some pretty good football.
The changes Marsch was forced into were not incredibly drastic, but did worry a few fans before kickoff. Playing Sal Zizzo on the left with Connor Lade at centre back seemed like a questionable decision at the time, but it paid off in the end. Lade was able to stay tight on Revs attacker Kei Kamara and won a lot more headers than a 5’7” player would be expected to.
Marsch also touched on the facts that though the win was big, the journey is nowhere near completion.
Getting to the semi-finals is absolutely something to be proud of, but should not be celebrated just yet. Both Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes are still in the competition, so it will be a tough two rounds regardless of the opponent.
Wright-Phillips also commented on the outcome, saying, “I don’t want to get too excited…we’re doing well so far. We need to keep the same attitude, the same humbleness…and just try and execute.”
There is a long break until the next US Open Cup match as the competition resumes on August 9th or August 15 - the Red Bulls await the winner of the FC Cincinnati vs Miami FC match that was delayed due to torrential rain. And the semifinal will be played on a date that depends on the outcome of the Cincy-Miami game. The long break from the Cup will be met with plenty of MLS competition, including a tough match against The Blue Team (NYCFC) just three days before.
The win over the Revs was met with just the right amount of praise from Marsch and the correct attitude from Wright-Phillips and company. The journey to the club’s first US Open Cup title is far from over, but another hard-fought win is just what the team needs heading into the semi-finals.