As the FIFA World Cup has begun in Russia and as we already know that the US Men’s National Team is not at the World Cup since 1986, so this means that another important cup competition will be played well into the evening not to interfere with the games in Europe.
The New York Red Bulls were drawn as one of two sides competiting on the road as they will travel down I-95 and face for the fourth consecutive season the Philadelphia Union and the second time at Talon Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
“It’s a little strange that we had to play them so many times, but we’ve played them a lot every year so it’s not a big deal. We are excited about this tournament, we are excited about this game so the energy with our team is good.“ said Jesse Marsch.
“I think we have a group that is ready for this challenge even though there ha been some tired legs, but we are going after it. We are excited and we will be going after this cup. There has been overtime and penalties so I expect this match to be very tight like the last three.”
The very first match up between these two sides came in an US Open Cup qualifier back in 2010 when the Union was an Expansion side and that was the first year that Red Bull Arena was opened. The Red Bulls won that match 2-1 with Hans Backe in charge.
In 2015 Both sides would meet in the proper rounds as the Union would get the opening goal in the middle of the second half and it took a Lloyd Sam stoppage time equalizer to force extra time, but lost in the penalty round shootout in the Quarterfinals.
In 2016 the Red Bulls traveled to Chester for the 5th round and had a lead when Mike Grella converted his chance in the first half. It felt like the Red Bulls could leave Talon Energy Stadium with a win and move on to the Quarterfinals.
But Chris Pontius converted twice in the second half and that ended the run for the Red Bulls. Last season the Red Bulls and the Union met for the third straight time and you knew after their victory in the 4th round win over NYCFC that the Red Bulls wanted to finally bite that bagel and get past this team.
A late Sacha Kljestan goal in the first half put the home side ahead till the half time whistle. It looked like this would be a win in regulation till a late equalizer in the second half by Roland Alberg forced extra time.
Nothing in the extra session and both sides went to the penalty spot to decided this. A big save by Ryan Meara on Fafa Picault and lucky that the rebound which went off the far post and almost grazing him as the ball was live and could’ve bounced back into the net to count as a conversion
Here is an example of what could’ve happened.
All five penalty kick tackers for the Red Bulls easily converted and it was Felipe’s winner that put the Red Bulls into the Quarterfinals and of course had that run to the final last season.
Last year the New York Red Bulls had to face NYCFC, the Union and the New England Revolution twice in both league and Open Cup competition within a matter of weeks from the 4th round all the way to the Quarterfinals when they finally faced FC Cincinnati in the Semi-Finals.
A new man that has played in many German cup games against the likes of Borussia Dortmund & Borussia Mochengladback is Marc Rzatkowski and he loves these types of Cup competitions where the urgency is at the extreme level.
“I am excited to play this game and we are driving down there to win this game. I like these kind of games either win or go home games. There is a winner and a loser and I want to win these games.” said Marc Rzatkowski
So on Saturday, June 16th the New York Red Bulls will try and advance to the Quarterfinals of the 2018 US Open Cup as they will once again face the Philadelphia Union for the forth consecutive Open Cup Season.