June 18, 2015
A CHANCE FOR SOME REVENGE
Red Bulls can avenge last year's Cosmos loss
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Jesse Marsch: “It's funny, they don't have any games until that game and we have three. We'll have to now take it game by game for us but I know we'll ready for the Open Cup.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – Revenge, perhaps, is coming.
Last year, it was the Cosmos who bounced the Red Bulls out of the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup, a loss that was embarrassing for the Major League Soccer side and was a point of pride for the North American Soccer League.
Since Thursday's draw pits the two teams against each other in the Round of 16, the Red Bulls have a shot at revenge.
And unlike last year, they will be at Red Bull Arena.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm from the Red Bulls as several players cheered when, after practice was over, they heard of their opponent for the next round. After a convincing 3-0 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks Tuesday night to advance in the tournament, it seems that the U.S. Open Cup is a bit more of a priority this year than in years past.
Head coach Jesse Marsch sounded optimistic about the draw, which pits his team against the class of the NASL that won the spring season crown with a 5-0-5 record. The Cosmos advanced by surviving a penalty-kick shootout with New York City FC on Wednesday night.
“I think so, I'm trying to stay focused one game at a time here but now that the news comes out," Marsch said on Thursday after learning about the draw. "Certainly, I watched the game last night. It was a charged game with emotion, competitiveness. I thought it was an entertaining game, we're happy to know it's at home but we know it will to be a big challenge.
“It's funny, they don't have any games until that game and we have three. We'll have to now take it game by game for us but I know we'll ready for the Open Cup.”
One advantage for the Red Bulls this go-around is that the match will be at home. Last year, the team looked to struggle at times on the artificial surface at Shuart Stadium. They didn't use it as an excuse last year but several players very quietly complained about the surface.
This year at Red Bull Arena they won't have that built-in excuse.
“That turf, I haven't been there but watching it on TV it doesn't look great. I think it is much better to play the game on grass and on our field,” Marsch said.
“I know it's supposed to be random but you kind of look at it and figure that somehow we're going to end up playing one of the New York teams and the next hope at that point is that you can play at home, so that's good.”
As for any pending conflict with the International Champions Cup fixture with Chelsea and the following round (assuming, that is, that the Red Bulls advance), Marsch wouldn't go there.
“We knew that from the beginning but at this point, let's talk when we get there,” Marsch said.
“Let's talk when we get there.”