July 9, 2015
IT'S AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE
Marsch will field the strongest possible lineup in the Open Cup over the ICC
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Jesse Marsch: “Obviously we have to figure out what that means at that time but we're going after the game, for sure.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – The International Champions Cup won't be in the way, so says New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch when he spoke on Thursday about his team placing a priority on the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup versus a friendly tournament later this month.
On July 21, the Red Bulls will host the Philadelphia Union in the Open Cup quarterfinals as a draw that has broken favorably for New York. But the very next day, the Red Bulls play Chelsea in the ICC. Very often throughout this team's history as both the MetroStars and then the Red Bulls, New York has placed a high priority on glamour friendlies that don't help in the standings.
But with the Red Bulls three wins away from lifting the Open Cup, Marsch said that he will field the strongest possible lineup in the Open cup and not the ICC.
“Yes. Yes. Yes,” he said.
“Obviously we have to figure out what that means at that time but we're going after the game, for sure.”
How that manifests itself is uncertain.
The Red Bulls could end up fielding mainly USL players in the match against Chelsea, setting the squad up for what would likely be an ugly scoreline. There is also the potential that some senior players from the first team get integrated in if they see light minutes or no action the night before against the Union.
But other than that, it sounded like Marsch values the Open Cup higher than the ICC.
“We anticipated the fact that there was going to be potential for there to be a lot of games in a short amount of time," he said. "I think the ICC is important for us as a club to be in that, to get a chance to play some of these big European clubs.
“But clearly the priority will be the Open Cup. We put ourselves in a good position to host the quarterfinals at home and that's going to be our priority in those six days.”
Marsch won the Open Cup three times a player with the Chicago Fire.
The ICC serves as a preseason tournament every year for several top European teams.