NYCFC looks to make history in U.S. Open Cup

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

The Bronx — The U.S. Open Cup will present two chances for New York City FC to make history. They can start their tournament run with their first derby win against the New York Cosmos — and they hope it ends with their first trophy as well.

“We all represent the club, it’s important to us and we want to take this competition extremely seriously,” Patrick Mullins said. “We’re a young club and we want to win trophies very quickly and this is a great opportunity to make a run at winning a real trophy. We want to make sure we take the right first step Wednesday.”

NYCFC will play the Cosmos Wednesday evening at Fordham University. The team trained on the turf at Jack Coffey Field Monday morning in split squads. Head coach Patrick Vieira spent most of the time instructing the defensive line of Shannon Gomez, Ethan White, Jefferson Mena and Diego Martinez with Eirik Johansen in goal. Gomez and Johansen have yet to appear for NYCFC this season.

Vieira said the team has set a target for its Open Cup run.

“We enter a competition because we want to win,” Vieira said. “We’re not the only team who wants to win that competition. We want to do well but it is important is our focus, concentration and not taking this game for granted. We have to be humble on the field, we have to work hard, we have to respect our principles and then we have to match their competitiveness.”

Vieira said he knows the Cosmos view this match as the biggest of their year. The Cosmos held closed training on Coffey Field after City finished. The Cosmos enter Wednesday’s match on 10 days rest, City on 13. While the Cosmos will be motivated to beat MLS opposition, Mikey Lopez said NYCFC are just as desperate to win the match.

“We want to win this tournament,” Lopez said. “This is a derby game but we look at it as a final for us because this tournament is win or go home.

“We want to win this tournament and it starts Wednesday so we want to win this game.”

Ronald Matarrita will not be available for Wednesday’s match. Matarrita played the 90 minutes in all three of Costa Rica’s matches at the Copa America Centenario. He returned from international duty yesterday and was given time off to rest. He will be ready for NYCFC’s match against the Philadelphia Union this Saturday.

Wednesday night’s match followed by a league match the next Saturday afternoon hampers Vieira’s plans. With only two days between matches, Vieira is set to rotate his squad more than he would have liked. He said he is factoring in the Open Cup rule limiting the number of internationals in the match day squad to five as well.

Vieira said the turf at Fordham only adds to the woes he’s facing.

“It’s what we have to cope with,” Vieira said. “It’s not the best to play a cup game but that is what we have around and that is what we have to deal with.”

The field is 120 yards x 75 yards, wider than the grass field at Yankee Stadium.The Cosmos play on turf at Hofstra University. Vieira said he expects the Cosmos’ on-field organization coupled with the turf to make play difficult for his team.

“I expect to see a team that will be well-organized and who will give 200 percent to win the game,” Vieira said. “They will be really competitive. They are motivated and I need to find a way to motivate the players as well. We have to match the level of commitment, concentration and focus.

“If we are not at their level, it will be difficult for us to win the game.”

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  • Daddy yankee

    Only if cosmos were in MLS…….. Nycfc vs cosmos sounds like a real ny derby. Until now we are stuck with red bull vs nycfc.
    If cosmos were in MLS, they would probably be the number one destination for fancy dps, and if u ask me, cosmos make the top 8 known soccer teams from the Western Hemisphere.
    You have boca juniors, river plate, club America, peñarol, chivas, cosmos, colo colo, santos.

    • slowleftarm

      LOL…the only people who know Cosmos are Americans over the age of 50. That’s not enough to make them one of the most famous teams in the world. Pure delusion.

      I’m sure NYCFC would like it if they only local rival they had was the minor league Cosmos. Then they wouldn’t have had the embarrassment of a 7-0 beating in front of their fans at the baseball field.

      • William

        Listen to the smugness and arrogance from this clown – how long have u been a metrostars fan ? what an incredible history they have u know with all those trophies in the cabinet. Classic passive aggressive personality disorder. Lashes out at every other team yet fails to come to grips with his own pathetic team and lack of results. This dude is delusional. See a therapist .

        • L Diablo

          Check out slowleftsideofthebrain talk out out of his ass once again. Hey slow! How’s that trophy case looking over there in Harrison? Oh yeah! I thought so! **** off!

  • Jerry

    MLS is a destination for washups.
    Until we have a serious division one league we are all living in glass houses.
    Decades of crap. From Giants stadium astro turf in the 70s & early 80s to watching a game sideways at yankees stadium. Utter puke.
    Joke has been on us all for our own perverse interpretation of a successful league.

  • George

    Cosmos is the ONLY American club known in Europe! No one heard of NYCFC (they think is another name for NYPD) and when I mentioned Red Bulls, everyone told me this is one of the better clubs in Austria.
    So people, really, get real!
    Cosmos should’ve rule competitions in premier league, MLS, whatever, league system should be open like elsewhere on this planet, where mechanism of promotion and falling to the lower tier would somewhat heal this sick system of dollar sign and then USSF should go and study European models of teaching children and then and only then in 10-15 years maybe there will an actual football in this country, that foreigners wouldn’t joke about it (too much).
    Get real..

    • MTF

      I’ll bet in Europe they know the 1970s Cosmos of Pele, Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto and Beckenbauer. I’ll bet more Europeans know LA Galaxy (thanks to Beckham) than know that there’s a reincarnated Cosmos playing in Hempstead, Long Island, on a college lacrosse field, in a minor league. Slow is right…you need to find people over 50 who remember the Cosmos…and you’ll have to identify the 4,000 Long Islanders who attend the current incarnation’s matches. If and when these Cosmos win the U.S. Open Cup and earn a CONCACAF Champions berth, then people will know they exist.

      • William

        Stop generalizing I am not over 50 and a big fan and season ticketholder. Thanks for being the knowitall nonothingatall poster on the thread. Maybe you and slow can start dating. Have a great day !

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