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United Soccer Leagues

LAMAR HUNT/U.S. OPEN CUP

July 15, 2016
LESSONS LEARNED
After Open Cup elimination by Philly, Red Bulls prepared for a league rematch


Mike Grella on playing Philadelphia: “Whatever we did in the first half of that game we also need to do in the second half.”
Mike Grella on playing Philadelphia: “Whatever we did in the first half of that game we also need to do in the second half.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Krisian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor

HANOVER, N.J. – Don’t expect the Red Bulls finish like they did several weeks ago in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union in the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup.

Instead, they claim to have taken the lessons from that hard knock and will be a different team in Chester, Pa. Sunday.

The Red Bulls jumped on the board first in that Open Cup loss, a dominating start to the match evaporating after halftime. The Union came out strong in the second half, moving the ball quickly and with numbers into the final third.

Two second-half goals doomed New York to another loss to Philadelphia in the tournament. Now with a big match looming at Talon Energy Stadium this Sunday, the Red Bulls are hopeful that they can take the lesson from their lumps three weeks ago and move on.

“I think we actually played really well, let a couple plays get away from us. We know that Philly is better this year so we respect the team that they are and right looking at the table, it’s a big six-pointer. It could be an important result once you get to the end of the year. We need to start doing better on the road, period,” head coach Jesse Marsch said on Friday following training.

“They were flat because we were on top of them. They made some adjustments at halftime we didn’t deal well with it. I think we came out in the second half thinking the game would be easy. I know this game won’t look like either, it will be much more combative. I think well-contested, well-competed. We’ll be ready for that.”

This is an important match for the Red Bulls against a team that has shocked many in MLS that is in second place the Eastern Conference.

Despite the success of the Union so far this year, midfielder Mike Grella said “we’ll be going for three points.”

“Whatever we did in the first half of that game we also need to do in the second half,” Grella added.
 
   
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