It was only a month ago when these two sides played against each other a full month ago when the Red Bulls dominated the opening 45 minutes against NYCFC and capped off the afternoon tilt with a fourth goal late in the match.
This time around it was an early goal in the opening 4 minutes and then three more in the second half to eliminated New York City FC once again in the fourth roudn of the US Open Cup by a final of 4-0.
It was the second minute of the match and right away the Red Bulls wanted to attack. Kemar Lawrence along the far side of the field started to bring the ball towards the middle of the pitch found a way to get that ball to Vincent Bezecourt.
When Bezecourt got possession he walked to the middle of the area and ripped a low hard shot that beat Brad Stuver and gave the home side a one goal advantage which was also his first goal with the MLS side since he was called up to the club last year in September.
It was another early goal and another chance to stab the hearts of NYCFC as well as the traveling supporters who once again limped home back on the PATH train as Aaron Long earned his first US Open Cup goal of his career.
52nd minute Red Bulls earned a corner at the near side and when Marc Rzatkowski delivered a great ball to the middle of the NYCFC area, Long climbed the ladder and headed the ball towards the back post for the second goal of the match.
As the game looked out of hand for the blue side the final minutes of the match became the Daniel Royer show. He converted twice within three minutes as he earned his second and third US Open Cup goals in two seasons.
In the 87th minute Alex Muyl attacking down the far side of the field and he tried to find Rzatkowski for his chance to take a shot, but blocked. Yet he got the ball back and found a wide open Toyer who waited for Stuver to come off his line and bent it around the keeper and found the back of the net.
Then in the 89th minute Royer earned his second of the match as he took a rebound shot and buried it inside an open net. Muyl attacking and tried to get his shot in, but Stuver made the save yet couldn’t handle the rebound.
The one big save in this match came from Ryan Meara as he was able to make a couple of big saves and got some big help froim hassan N’dam to prevent a third chance rolling into the back of the net.
In the 37th minute David Villa had three chances to score the first goal for NYCFC and level the match, but Meara who hugged his near post made two big point blank saves and when he was off his line on the third, N’Dam came out of nowhere and cleared the ball into the arms of Meara.
That was the moment that could’ve changed things in a hurry and fortunately the Red Bulls were able to hold off the blue side of New York goal less. Once again David Villa in six league games and now two open cup games at Red Bull Arena hasn’t hit the back of the net.
After another ninety minutes in 2018 the New York Red Bulls once again scored four goals, advance to the 5th round and leave NYCFC to wallow in their misery. Once again we are seeing players from the USL side getting opportunities with the MLS side and flourishing in the US Open Cup, Jesse Marsch discusses about his players getting opportunities for minutes from USL to MLS
“Certainly having a second team is good and it’s a good way to develop players but it’s the overall package of what we do. It’s not one thing. It’s everything. I even challenged the team before the game to use us stylistically, whether it’s a derby and a chance for us to showcase our team and showcase our club and showcase what we do here and no doubt our players went out and did that.” said Marsch.
“So big sense of pride from performances and a result and a big sense of pride to see guys like Hassan, Ethan, do really well and show that -- that they can handle a game like this. So yeah, I’ve said it a lot, I’ll say it again, we are at the forefront of prayer development in this country. There’s no question, there’s no question that’s where we sit. We’re very proud. It’s another night where we have a good night and we’re very proud of our team and our club.”
For the Red Bulls it means moving on to the 5th round draw and see who they will be matched up with. Either DC United, Orlando City or another moment with Philadelphia. For NYCFC it’s their fourth straight loss in the MLS Opening Round of the tournament.
So we shall see what happens this Thursday morning at 11AM when US Soccer Draws the teams for the 5th round and who will be slotted to host the matches. It should be a lot of fun and continue the hope of returning to the final.