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United Soccer Leagues

LAMAR HUNT/U.S. OPEN CUP

May 27, 2016
RED BULLS NOTEBOOK
Looking ahead to Open Cup


Jesse Marsch: "One of our goals this year is to win that trophy and we're going after it."
Jesse Marsch: "One of our goals this year is to win that trophy and we're going after it."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- After Saturday's game, the Red Bulls won't have to worry about playing in MLS competition when they host the Seattle Sounders at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, June 19.

They will, however, have to worry about a Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open game.

On June 15 they will take on the winner of the June 1 Rochester Rhinos-Lansdowne Bhoys' third-round encounter. If the Rhinos (USL) prevail, the game will be played in Rochester, N.Y. If Lansdowne (Cosmopolitan Soccer League) pulls off a major upset, the Red Bulls will host the match at RBA.

First, the Red Bulls have to take care of business against Toronto FC at home Saturday night before taking a break thanks to Copa America Centenario.

Then it will be back to business.

"We'll assess where we are physically," Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters after training Thursday. "Theoretically, we'll still be missing some guys on international break. We'll probably look to use a couple of different guys just to give them an opportunity to play but we'll also look to put a lot of first team guys on the field to make sure we can get a result.

"Some of it will depend on who our opponent is. If we have to go to Rochester and play on turf vs. playing at home and playing on grass and what the differences are there. One of our goals this year is to win that trophy and we're going after it."

Goals vs. no goals

It's incredible what a couple of clean sheets will for a team.

It's incredible what seven goals in one game will do for a team.

Midfielder Sacha Kljestan reminded the media that the Red Bulls surged to the top of the Eastern Conference with 21 goals after their 7-0 win over New York City FC.

They also hope they have stopped their defensive bleeding with consecutive shutouts.

"It's big. Clean sheets are huge," Kljestan said. "It's crazy when you look at the Eastern table that we're the highest scoring team. A couple of big games have done that and put us back up there. Defensively, we want to continue to get better.

"We pretty much tell these guys every game, 'If we can get a shutout we'll get a little bit to help us win this game.' Keeping a zero has been very important and the defense has been great lately. Hopefully, we'll keep it going."
 
   
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