The New York Red Bulls are right back into the fire this week. They are coming off a 3-1 come from behind win, which saw the Red Bulls scored three unanswered goals against Orlando City SC. Getting goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, as well as Sean Davis, the Red Bulls were able to take three points at home.
The Red Bulls have a much tougher challenge on Tuesday. They will be traveling to Ohio to take on United Soccer League side FC Cincinnati in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. They have been the Cinderella story of the Open Cup, as they are the only non-Major League Soccer club remaining. Cincinnati has taken out the likes of Columbus Crew SC and the Chicago Fire from MLS on their way to Semi-Final.
New York Red Bulls U.S Open Cup Semi-Final Preview
What to Watch For
Control of the Crowd
FC Cincinnati will have a huge home field advantage. Nippert Stadium has been sold out for a bit now and will surely have 30,000+ fans behind Cincinnati. It will be ever so important for the Red Bulls to dictate the tempo of this match. Take away the crowd, Cincinnati will lose arguably the biggest factor they have going for them. If Cincinnati controls the match, it will further ignite the crowd and the belief they can pull off another huge upset.
BWP is hot right now. His goal on Saturday against Orlando was his eighth in his last eight games. When the big time moments come up, you need your star players to shine. The Red Bulls will certainly need BWP to stay hot if they are to have a chance. Despite once again flowing under the radar, BWP has been one of the hottest players in MLS. FC Cincinnati will certainly have their hands full with this recent high powered attack of the Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls back up goalkeeper has been one of the biggest factors in their cup run. Ryan Meara has conceded a total one goal in his three U.S Open Cup appearances. As well as having a huge save in the penalty shootout that saw the Red Bulls top Philadelphia Union back in Round Four of the tournament. Meara will likely given the start once again in this one. With the success he has had he deserves to be given the chance to see this through. It will be interesting to see if he can continues his Cup magic in likely the only action he will see this season for the Red Bulls and put them into the Final.
Predicted Starting XI
As stated before, this will be no cake walk by any means. The Red Bulls will be in the most hostile environment they have experienced all season. This is the biggest trophy Cincinnati get to play for and they will have nothing to lose. The Red Bulls will press high and really fluster Cincinnati. The Red Bulls will get a goal early then have to defend for their lives. In the end, Red Bulls advance to the final 1-0.