HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - For one historic night, the Cosmos can claim the title as Kings of New York soccer.
A brace by Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien led the New York Cosmos towards a definitive 3-0 dismantling of the Red Bulls in front of a vibrant crowd of 9,364 fans at Shuart Stadium.
The win not only earns the Cosmos local bragging rights, but also eliminates the New York Red Bulls from U.S. Open Cup competition.
“Today, it was definitely a challenge against an MLS team that had their starters, that was close to the lineup they had for the New England Revolution,” Cosmos boss Giovanni Savarese said. “For us to win and go through, did what we did, it was very important.”
“There are no excuses to be made. The only excuse I come up with is that this was the World Cup to them and my guys didn’t view it that way,” head coach Mike Petke said after the match. “But all hats off to the Cosmos.”
Stokkelien opened the scoring in the eighth minute, receiving an end to end pass from former Red Bull mainstay Carlos Mendes. Splitting defenders Armando and Ambroise Oyongo, the former Staeback striker unleashed a rocket shot to the far corner, beating Ryan Meara for the first goal of the game.
Minutes later, the Cosmos pressure continued as Hagop Chirishian found space in the box, beating defender Chris Duvall and diving for a headed chance that skipped past the Red Bull net. Sebastian Guenzatti was next to challenge, riding Armando into the box and unleashing a devastating shot right into the chest of Meara.
The Cosmos nearly doubled their score in the 25th minute. Confusion on the backline left defender Jimmy Ockford open on a shot. His attempt was blocked, and captain Mendes was there to collect the rebound, sending a blast off the crossbar.
The homeside would continue buzzing throughout the first half but would not break past Meara.
Guenzatti kept the Cosmos dangerous to start the second. A quick turn on defender Armando gave the Uruguayan born striker space to test Meara in the 72nd minute; the Cosmos best chance up to that point in the half.
One minute later, Stokkelien made sure the Cosmos would not miss again. Midfielder Danny Szetela sent a pinpoint, cross field pass to a wide open Stokkelien. The Norwegian striker one-timed his shot, ripping a blast past Meara to make it 2-0.
“I think they were a little bit shocked of our start,” Stokkelien said. “We had a lot of chances in the first half. We could have scored two or three goals. It’s a really good start and the second half kept up the play.”
The Red Bulls’ woes would only worsen in the 78th minute with striker Alessandro Noselli finding the back of the net, and putting the match out of reach for the visiting MLS side.
“Unbelievable, 3-0 against the Red Bulls is unbelievable,” Noselli said. “I don’t know in the future, but today maybe we are the best team in New York.”
The Red Bulls couldn’t find their footing on the turf at Shuart Stadium, and the Cosmos’ relentless attack made sure they never did. The Cosmos ended the match with a 21-3 shots advantage, with 11 shots on target to the Red Bulls 1.
Asked if there were any positives in the game, Petke said, “Ya, we have vacation. It’s over. We have vacation now. The guys need it.”
For the Cosmos, it meant a bit more than that.
“It’s a huge game for us,” Stokkelien said. “I know our whole organization, our fans and everybody else has looked forward to this game. Obviously, we had the league to focus on, but the last week before the game, we all felt it would be a huge game coming up and we got this great result. Couldn’t be better.”
“It was a derby for us; two professional organizations. We said from the beginning,” Savarese said. “We came here very seriously to play for the people that came to watch the match. We did it for the fans that deserve a team that is going to give 100% and our organization. We need to build a new history, and today, we did that.”
The Cosmos now move on to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup where they will take on the winner of the Philadelphia Union vs. the Harrisburg City Islanders. If the Union win, they will host the match at PPL Park. If the Islanders advance, the Cosmos will play that fixture at St. John’s Belson Stadium.
New York Cosmos 3, New York Red Bulls 0
June 14, 2014
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Fourth Round
Shuart Stadium – Hempstead, N.Y.
NYC: Mads Stokkelien (Carlos Mendes) 7’
NYC: Mads Stokkelien (Daniel Szetela) 73’
NYC: Alessandro Noselli (unassisted) 78’
NY: Ibrahim Sekagya (caution) 21’
NYC: Daniel Szetela (caution) 62’
NY: Chris Duvall (ejection) 87’
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (caution) 90’
New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara, Chris Duvall, Matt Miazga, Armando, Ambroise Oyongo, Lloyd Sam, Ibrahim Sekagya (Bobby Convey 74’), Eric Alexander (Michael Bustamante 89’), Jonny Steele (Andre Akpan 46’), Bradley Wright-Phillips, Peguy Luyindula
Substitutes not used: Santiago Castano, Connor Lade, Eric Stevenson, Richard Eckersley
New York Cosmos: Jimmy Maurer, Hunter Freeman, Carlos Mendes, Ayoze, Jimmy Ockford, Joseph Nane, Daniel Szetela, Hagop Chirishian (Hunter Gorskie 77’), Sebastian Guenzatti, Mads Stokkelien (Dane Murphy 91+’), Alessandro Noselli (Hans Denissen 92+)
Substitutes not used: Kyle Zobeck, Roversio, David Diosa, Jemal Johnson
Referee: Kevin Terry Jr.
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Weisbrod and Alexander Luttman
4th Referee: Ernie Constantine