After playing thru many games within the month of June at Red Bull Arena and on the road, the New York Red Bulls traveled down I-95 to take on the Philadelphia Union in the 5th round of the US Open Cup and lost by a final of two goals to one.
The opening forty-five saw the Red Bulls play some strong defense as they were able to hold off the Union at their net, but you saw the Union have the better of the play till the last five to six minutes where the Red Bulls were finally picking up their play.
When the second half started it looked like the Red Bulls were finally themselves and started to make some runs and looking dangerous Many times they threatened the Union and when Kemar Lawrence had a golden chance to bury a chance, he hit the crossbar and the rebound was pushed over the bar by Andre Blake.
But in the 52nd minute the Union would take advantage and score the first goal of the match. Alejandro Bedoya was able to find some space and saw Haris Medunjanin all alone and about three to four yards outside the RBNY area.
He ripped a ball that looked to be destined to go over the crossbar, but sadly took a deflection off of Tim Parker who was trying to head it away from goal. That deflection went inside the near post and the Union opened the scoring.
Jesse Marsch knew he had to change things up quickly so in the 60th & 61st minute he made a double substitution by bringing in Bradley Wright-Phillips & Daniel Royer off the bench. But that little lull in the match gave the Union their chance to pounce and get a second.
Cory Burke who was active in the first half had multiple chances to put the Union ahead of the Red Bulls, but his shots were either high or wide of the net. In his three chances he was point blank and thankfully missed the net till he converted in the 61st minute.
Medunjanin found Bedoya who sprung Burke into a 1 v 1 situation with Luis Robles and then slotted it past Robles left for the second goal of the match to extend the lead. The feeling around Talon Energy Stadium was that the Union were going to advance, but there was some life within the Red Bulls.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to pull one back in the 77th minute as Alejandro Romero Gamarra came back from International Duty with Paraguay to earn his first US Open Cup assist as he sprung BWP into a run and he slotted home his fifth US Open Cup goal tying him with Amado Guevara’s amount for most goals scored in the US Open Cup.
Three minutes later it looked like the match was going to be level as Gamarra got into great space and ripped one to the far post, but once again Andre Blake makes a huge save that put the ball out over the end line for a corner, but that was the last moment as the Red Bulls for the third time in four straight Open Cup games were eliminated by the Philadelphia Union.
“We had chances in the beginning of the second half, if we get the lead on some of those big chances then it’s a different game. Blake comes up big on some of those and that one save he made on Kaku.” said Jesse Marsch. “Our guys really went after it, but our guys were operating on fumes and we are playing like half a deck. The way that US Soccer allowed this fixture date to take place for me it’s not in the spirit of the tournament(having two days between the league match against the Sounders and this US Open Cup Match at the Union), it was a clear advantage for one team over another. I don’t want to make excuses but Philadelphia was the better side on the day.”
So now it’s on to three days rest for the club and their next league match against FC Dallas who will be flying up to play at Red Bull Arena the following Saturday and get back into league action.