In a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 32 matchup between two original MLS rivals, the New York Red Bulls came out on top, 3-0, against their hated foe D.C. United at Audi Field on Tuesday night.
Luquinhas, John Tolkin, and Zach Ryan bagged goals against the three-time US Open Cup champions. Ryan Meara was rarely tested in goal, making one save to earn the clean sheet. Despite their close proximity, this was just the third all-time meeting between the two rivals, and the first since 2006.
Red Bull, after some nerves early in the game, settled into the game around the 15th minute and would go on to dominate United’s young and heavily-rotated lineup.
To start the game, things turned on its head for Red Bull and their manager Gerhard Struber, as their club captain & USMNT CB Aaron Long needed to be subbed off after 10 minutes due to “stiffness” in his calf. Uruguayan youth national Lucas Monzon would be first off the bench and even with his lack of minutes with the first team, looked the part for Red Bull in their excellent backline.
Other then the Long injury, the first half was a real snoozer. That would be until the third minute of first half stoppage time where Red Bull would find the breakthrough just before the half time whistle.
A little over the top ball from Sean Nealis to Frankie Amaya would be the moment to free up space for players making secondary runs towards the box. As Amaya turned back, he found Dru Yearwood in acres of space as the Englishmen rumbled forward.
With the focus on him, Yearwood toe poked the ball into the path of Luquinhas, who got inside his defender and then ripped one far post on DC keeper Rafael Romo to give Red Bull a 1-0 lead and all the momentum going into the locker room.
Even though they were down 1-0 going into the break, D.C. deserves some credit. D.C. heading into the game against Red Bull heavily rotated their team. With a young & hungry team, who were looking to impress manager Chad Ashton, D.C. were running with Red Bull stride for stride in the first half. Unfortunately for them, their quality would be their downfall against an almost full XI from Red Bull.
In the second half, things would turn for the worse if you are a fan of D.C., and pretty quickly. Just three minutes into the second half, left back John Tolkin doubled Red Bulls lead as the team from New York would not look back any time soon.
THE BOBBLEHEAD GUY DID IT!!!!!!— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) May 11, 2022
Luquinhas escaped a doubled team on the RW, and once he got to the end line cut it back to the penalty area where Tolkin was making his run. In an awkward shot while falling, the Chatham, NJ native scored his first goal of 2022.
Red Bull were on their way to a victory at D.C. for the first time since 2020 after going 0-2 last season, but they were not done at Audi Field.
In the 67th minute, Dylan Nealis caught the D.C. sleeping on a FK as he threaded a through ball to a sprinting Cameron Harper down the RW, who would find Zach Ryan at the near post for a tap in and it was 3-0 just like that.
No more goals were scored by either team, but the game started to get physical down the stretch with both teams picking up multiple yellow cards in typical D.C.-Red Bull fashion.
After three minutes of stoppage time, official Matthew Franz blew his whistle one last time and it is Red Bull moving on to the US Open Cup Round of 16 slated for later this month. New York will learn their opponent on Thursday when the USSF conducts the Fifth Round draw.
Red Bull’s manager Gerhard Struber in his opening statement postgame said, “We are right now very happy we are in the next round. I expected today from my boys that we go with all our power in this game. We were good in some transition moments, we were sharp when we have the one-on-one chance and we can see how important Luquinhas is for us to create overload moments, to create the right passes, and then we can see how easy it is to score.”
On new young players like Daniel Edelman & Cameron Harper contributing and having very solid individual performances, Struber could not be happier for those two specifically. “Especially some new faces coming in the game, Daniel Edelman today a starting player, the first time for him in the Open Cup and he created and also had a good game. With Cameron Harper in the second half, he has a long-term injury behind him, right now we can see his dribbling ability, also he was clean in the box, and I think in the end, we deserved to win and with this result and this high.
Scorer of the second goal, John Tolkin, said winning at Audi Field was the first thing the boys talked about in the dressing room. “It’s always a tough place to come here and win. Obviously last year, we didn’t get a win here, so we’re really happy with this. It helps us with our momentum, and we carry it on to this weekend with a big game against Philly.”
Talking to the media for the first time this season, USYNT U20 midfielder Daniel Edelman could not hide his excitement to one, get his first career start for the first team and two get the win.
“I’m super happy and stoked I was able to start today and get the victory”, said Edelman. “I’ve been ready for this moment and I’m always preparing for whenever my chance comes. Today, I got the opportunity, and we got the three points. My teammates and everyone were helping me get through the game and we got the three points.”
Red Bull have been on fire when it comes to playing on the road this season. With the win, Red Bull improves to 7-0-0 on the road this season in all competitions, outscoring their opponents 18-4 with three clean sheets. They will look to continue that trend at Philadelphia as they look to become the first team in MLS history to start a season 6-0 on the road.
For DC United, that is a wrap on their hopes of capturing their 10th major trophy in franchise history. They now look to improve their form in MLS, which currently has them in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-0-5 (12 PTS) as they look for some redemption on the road against Inter Miami.