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US Open Cup Stories: When Rooney was the Hero

When Wayne Rooney’s Brother John, won the match over FC New York

Arsenal v New York Red Bulls - Emirates Cup
Wayne Rooney’s Brother John Scores a US Open Cup Winner
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Welcome back to another US Open Cup moment in Metro/RBNY history as I continue to count down the days before we get to the 2017 Championship Final on Wednesday, September 20th at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas against Sporting Kansas City.

This time around we head back to the 2011 US Open Cup season and we discuss about the Third Round Proper match at Red Bull Arena as they faced the one and done FC New York that played in the USL Second Division and had their home matches at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University.

This was a true Baby Bulls B-Squad playing in this match that had some first team players who needed the minutes at that time on June 28th. Juan Agudelo, Tim Ream and Stephen Keel were used in this match.

Throughout the first half of this Open Cup match the Red Bulls were the aggressor and they wanted to score right away, but either the keeper was there to make a save or the shots were just wide of the posts. The home side were strong and wanted to get on the scoreboard.

But just as the David’s wanted to knockout the Goliath’s, that moment happened as FC New York was able to get the opening goal on a beautiful volley from Owen Morrison, as he bent a beautiful ball in the 56th minute. The visiting fans started to chant to the South Ward “We Can’t Hear You!”, but two minutes later that all changed.

Corey Hertzog who was a Super Draft pick in that same year got a chance to play up top with Juan Agudelo who assisted on the goal and when Hertzog snuck in his shot on frame, he beat Steve Diaz to level the score.

But when the match winner was converted, there was some Premier League royalty on the pitch as he found some luck converting the chance. John Rooney who is the younger brother of Wayne Rooney then with Manchester United and now back with Everton, converted the match winner.

Tim Ream took a free kick from distance and found Rooney at the top of the area. But the ball did take a deflection first and when John was able to pounce on the rebound he drilled a hard low roller that beat Diaz to the far post and the Red Bulls took the lead in 65th Minute.

After Rooney’s tally went in FC New York had nothing left in the tank as they felt that go-ahead goal was enough to doom them into elimination and head back across the Hudson River.

But the funny thing about John Rooney coming over to the New York Red Bulls was the start of bringing over younger brothers of the actual players who were at the top leagues of Europe.

While Wayne never came to MLS, Digao who is the younger brother of Kaka played with the Red Bulls as they tried to lure him to MLS, but as we all know he joined in 2015 with Orlando City and that didn’t work, but as we know the last season and a half it worked for the Wright-Phillips Brothers as Bradley played with older brother Sean.

But for that one night at the Cathedral of Football in the United States, a Rooney was a hero for the home side and they moved on to the Quarterfinals to face the Chicago FIre.

The Post Match Performance from the New York Red Bulls You Tube account

Then a fan shot from rano0672 on You Tube as he showed some of the action in this 2011 Round 3 Proper US Open Cup Tilt.

But before I end this article something has to be said about Wayne Rooney that I felt a bit disturbing. That year when the New York Red Bulls were competing in the US Open Cup, the MLS All-Star Game was at Red Bull Arena as well.

Manchester United was the opponent once again and there was a press conference in downtown Manhattan as members of several MLS sides like David Beckham, Thierry Henry and All-Star Head Coach Hans Backe were representing the league.

When it was time to talk with the members of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson along with “Chicharito” Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney went to the dais to talk with the American media.

I remember asking Wayne Rooney about his brother John getting the match winner in the 3rd round of the US Open Cup and while he gave a low level answer, the feeling was that he didn’t care about his brother.

Another reporter tried to get a better response from Wayne about his brother John and sadly the answer I got, was the same answer he gave to that reporter. He was happy for his brother, but he is focused on the all-star match that’s in front of him.