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July 1, 2015
Red Bulls exact payback over Cosmos

By Kristian Dyer
Big Apple Soccer Contributor

Lloyd Sam, who felt the pain of last year's Open Cup loss to the Cosmos, enjoyed payback at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night.
Lloyd Sam, who felt the pain of last year's Open Cup loss to the Cosmos, enjoyed payback at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. – Revenge, revenge, is all he wants revenge. Revenge, revenge is all he comprehends. And that is what the New York Red Bulls got in a 4-1 Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup win over the New York Cosmos on Wednesday night, a win that was about revenge for the MLS side.

In last year's U.S. Open Cup, the Red Bulls were minus several key starters but still fielded a relatively solid Starting XI in losing 3-0 to the Cosmos. One of those players was midfielder Lloyd Sam, who visibly looked disgusted last year during a game that was very much a rout. When the draw came out several weeks back that put the Red Bulls in-line for a revenge match with the Cosmos, Sam was thrilled.

And he was ecstatic to see it at Red Bull Arena.

“Yeah, because of what happened last season,” Sam told

“That was a painful one. It was a bit depressing after the game.

“I just knew I wanted to play in our place. I knew it'd be a different game in our place. I thought getting them back to our place was perfect.”

Perfect sums up well a performance that was top-notch from front to back.

This year, the Red Bulls started a nearly full-strength lineup. Every player in the lineup has starts this year in league play and been a significant contributor to the side.

A Sal Zizzo goal in the fifth minute off a cross from Lloyd Sam on the right flank made sure that the Red Bulls didn't start off on their back heels this match. The Cosmos leveled the score but the early goal ensured that the home team didn't go through the nightmare of last year when the Cosmos dominated from the get-go.

In the 42nd minute, a well-taken corner kick by Sacha Kljestan was finished with a clinical head by Anatole Abang to put the Red Bulls up 2-1. There was no looking back by that point.

The Red Bulls added a pair of second-half goals to go full-throttle on an opponent that struggled along their backline to cope with the movement of the MLS side. It was full-scale payback from the Red Bulls after a humiliating loss a season ago.

There was joy in the locker room following the Red Bulls win in the tournament but there was also a sense of relief about beating an opponent that truthfully thrashed them last year.

In his post-match press conference, head coach Jesse Marsch said that during the week Sam spoke to the group and said “that payback was important and we wanted to make sure we handled this game the right way.”

He also singled out Dax McCarty as another Red Bull who stepped up and voiced the importance of the match.

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