FC New York had been looking forward to this match since they proposed an annual exhibition with the New York Red Bulls during their expansion announcement back on April 1, 2009. The USL Pro side finally got their chance to take on Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, but this game was much more than a proposed friendly. It was a Third Round match in the 2011 US Open Cup, and although they scored a stunning opening goal, they couldn’t hold on as the Red Bulls won 2-1 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
It was an important win for the Red Bulls who are aiming to put their recent Open Cup struggles behind them. This marked the first Open Cup game in their new stadium, and they had not won a game in the tournament since 2006. In fact, they had not tasted victory in front of their home fans in the competition since the 2003 Semifinals.
The Red Bulls controlled much of the first half, peppering FC New York goalkeeper Steve Diaz. However, Diaz held his composure and kept the USL side even. He had a couple good saves in the first half, one coming in the 28th minute as Corey Hertzog hit a shot from the top of the box. Diaz juggled the ball, but eventually held on to make the save.
Later, in the 40th minute, FC New York would get a great chance to take the lead as the team’s leading scorer in the tournament, Jhonny Arteaga, received a cross at the six yard box. He one-timed it toward goal, but Red Bulls keeper Greg Sutton made a point blank save to keep the game scoreless. That scoreline would hold through the remainder of the half.
The second half saw more action from both sides, particularly from the Red Bulls, as they continued to test Diaz in net. In the 53rd minute Austin Da Luz ripped a shot from the top corner of the 18-yard box only to see Diaz make a fantastic save once again to keep the MLS side off the board.
Just three minutes later though, FC New York would break through. Owen Morrison hit a screamer from 30 yards out to give his team a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute. That lead, however, would be very brief.
Just two minutes after that stunner, the Red Bulls would tie it up, capitalizing on a defensive error. A failed clearance led to a header, which directed the ball to Hertzog. He took the ball near the touch line to the left of Diaz and placed it low and inside the near post at a very tough angle to equalize for the Red Bulls.
The MLS club would get its winner in the 65th minute as John Rooney (brother of English star Wayne Rooney) took a shot from 25 yards out, placing it low and inside the left post to give his team a 2-1 edge that they would not relinquish. Tim Ream, in his return from playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the United States, set up the goal.
The Red Bulls would get more chances to extend their lead later in the match. They might have had a claim to earning a kick from the penalty spot as Juan Agudelo, also back from the Gold Cup, was pulled down inside the penalty area in the 71st minute. They would receive one last great chance in the 85th as the US international received a cross from Marcos Paullo, who was stationed on the right sideline. Agudelo hit a shot mere feet from the goal, but Diaz once again came up with an outstanding save for FC New York, keeping a potential tying goal within reach. That goal would never come, though, as the match finished 2-1 in favor of the Red Bulls.
The New York Red Bulls now hit the road for their Quarterfinal match. They are slated to play the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on July 12 at 8:30 PM ET in a rematch of the 2003 US Open Cup Final. Chicago won that match 1-0 at Giants Stadium.
TheCup.us Match MVP: John Rooney
FCNY – Owen Morrison (unassisted) 56’
RBNY – Corey Hertzog (Juan Agudelo) 58’
RBNY – John Rooney (Tim Ream) 65’
FCNY – Mike Aquino 34’ (yellow caution card)
RBNY – Tim Ream 38’ (yellow caution card)
FCNY – Karsten Smith 60’ (yellow caution card)
New York Red Bulls – Greg Sutton, Mike Jones, Tim Ream (Sachir Hot 46’), Stephen Keel, Matt Kassel, Teddy Schneider (Tyler Lassiter 67’), Austin da Luz, John Rooney, Marcos Paullo, Corey Hertzog, Juan Agudelo
FC New York – Steve Diaz, Troy Cole, Karsten Smith, Kyle Hoffer, Josiah Snelgrove (David Reed 65’), Gary Boughton (Don Smart 55’) , Qwame Holder, Mike Aquino, Tadeu Terra, Bradley Welch (Owen Morrison 46’), Johnny Arteaga
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Referee’s Assistant: Brian Dunn, Thomas Zabloci