Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Red Bulls Sweep NY Soccer wars with an Open Cup Win against the Cosmos
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This has been a fun couple of days within the New York City Tri-State Area when you are a Red Bulls fan. It's not just getting a huge win on the road at Yankee Stadium against the upstart NYCFC, but when you take on the New York Cosmos of the NASL as they gave this Red Bulls side a thumping at James Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University last year in the fourth round.
This time around the fifth round draw was kind to the Red Bulls and they hosted the New York Cosmos at Red Bull Arena and while there was over 11,000+ at Red Bull Arena it sounded like a filled stadium with plenty of energy. Once again at home the Red Bulls converted the opening goal within the first five minutes as Lloyd Sam returned from a groin & right ankle injury to attack down the right flank and made a great cross to Sal Zizzo who leapt high and headed the ball past Jimmy Maurer that went inside the far post and earned his first as a Red Bull.
The Cosmos were able to equalize eleven minutes later on a great ball from Maurer who found Walter Restrepo at midfield and he made a great move to fake out Connor Lade and attacked down the right side. The cross was stopped by Matt Miazga, but not enough as Leo Fernandes got to it and found Lucky Mkosana who ripped a big shot past Luis Robles for the equalizer and converted his third US Open Cup Goal against the Red Bulls. Back in 2012 fourth round he played for the Harrisburg City Islanders and scored two goals with one in regulation and the second in extra time.
But the Red Bulls were determined to get the lead back and they got it late in the 42nd minute as the tale of Anatole Abang keeps getting rewritten as he continues to play strong and solid getting onto the ball and putting it past keepers on a consistent rate. As Sacha Kljestan took the corner from the far side, he delivered it perfectly inside the middle of the Cosmos area & Abang found the right spot and headed the ball past Maurer
Once the second half began the Red Bulls started to show their quality and got themselves into good spots to earn the whistle for a penalty as Chris Duvall found a way to juke his defender to get inside the area and got taken down to earn the penalty. Kljestan took the spot kick and went right down the middle as Maurer dove to his right. The final goal on the night for the Red Bulls came in the final minute of regulation as Felipe gave Mike Grella a nice ball and the Glen Cove native made some nice moves as he faked out his defender, ripped the shot with his right foot and nails the inside of the far post to send the Red Bulls to the Quarterfinals of the 2015 US Open Cup and host the Philadelphia Union.
But sadly this win came with some consequences as Chris Duvall left the match on a stretcher as he collided on a slide tackle for the ball in the 83rd minute against Hunter Gorskie as it looked like a 50-50 ball from both participants. At the moment their are no updates as I post this article, the hope from Jesse Marsch is that Duvall only has a very bad bruise.
But outside of the injury this was an entertaining game as both sides took no quarter and fought hard for ninety minutes. Jimmy Maurer is definitely ready to make a push to MLS as he is a very quality keeper. My only concern is that he keeps positioning himself to high up inside his area, even going out of his area and in MLS they will punish keepers making that type of mistake.
Walter Restrepo is a big threat down the right flank in midfield and he has plenty of gas for the full ninety, but sadly he twisted his ankle in the 70th minute attacking with the ball. He slipped halfway towards the Red Bulls area and stayed down. Got help from both the Cosmos trainer and Luis Robles back towards the bench, this injury will put a damper on the Cosmos start to the fall season. Still you have to give credit to head coach and former MetroStars legend Giovanni Savarese as he wanted to take another scalp off the Red Bulls, but this time around the record is level.
Finally all you can say is that New York has been painted red. Three games against NYCFC & the Cosmos with one more left in late August to see if the full sweep will happen or the team in Manchester City Blue will try to salvage the last game this season, but so far regardless NYC is red and the fans love every second of it.