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US Open Cup Stories: Match Preview

After nineteen straight days of US Open Cup history, now we get to talk about the big Championship Final.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls
Bradley Wright-Phillips is ready for his first title
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The moment is finally here. The big championship final to hoist the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will be played tonight at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas as the New York Red Bulls will try for the second time and third in both US Soccer competitions.

Jesse Marsch’s starting eleven in league play against the Philadelphia Union was the correct one, you saw no Kemar Lawrence, no Aaron Long, no Sacha Kljestan, no Tyler Adams and no Bradley Wright-Phillips to start the match.

They were either saved for the final or given some minutes to get themselves going and tried to sneak in a winner in their last league match a few days ago, but now is the time where the Red Bulls need to focus and concentrate on their opponents tonight.

“They have a solid defense with guys like Matt Besler and Graham Zusi on the National Team, and Zusi going forward with Benny Feilhaber.” said Tyler Adams, “All we need to do is be us against them and hopefully we can win the championship.”

Since the transfer day deadline allowing Dom Dwyer to make a move and play for Orlando City, there seems to be an issue with how the attack will look for Sporting Kansas City. Is that something the club will try to exploit?

“Peter has a specific way of playing and he has a group that has been there together for a while, they are very clear in their identity in who they are and what they are.” said Marsch, “I think that they just supplemented (Diego) Rubio for Dwyer it’s business as usual and they have still been very good.

Credit goes to their team and to Peter with the job he’s done with this team.”

There has been a lot of debate about who should be the starting keeper in this one for the Red Bulls, especially from the fans. There are those who are saying Robles should be in goal because of his experience and playing the majority of the season.

But there are those who say that Ryan Meara who has played in the last four US Open Cup matches deserves a shot because he has led the club to this moment. Beating NYCFC, the Union in Penalties, the Revolution and USL side FC Cincinnati

Who gets the nod?

“Ryan Meara is going to play in goal, so we are excited that he will get a big opportunity and he will be ready to go.” Said Jesse Marsch, “I think it was the type of decision that I couldn’t get wrong, because we have two such great goalkeepers, but also I felt that I couldn’t get it right.

I knew who I was telling it was going to be disappointing, that doesn’t feel good but these two have supported each other the two years here and before I got here. I’m thankful to have two great guys who aren’t just great goal keepers, but great guys to themselves as well.”

Some of these players who are on the MLS Bulls side have already won a title when they were on the USL Bulls last season, in fact the first title for the club in any capacity on a professional level. So can the young guns help the veterans out in tonight’s match.

“I think being in a final, not everyone has an opportunity to do. Using USL as a platform helped me being on the first team this year.” said Tyler Adams, “I think winning the USL championship will take that experience and run into this final and I’m going to try and go two for two this year.”

The wait is over, the time will be 9PM EDT - 8PM CDT as this match will officially kick off on ESPN 2 as the New York Red Bulls will go for their second shot to take home the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and bring a trophy back to the die hard supporters of this club.