What Rivalry? Red Bulls’ Petke downplays heat with Cosmos

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

If there is a Cosmos, Red Bulls rivalry, Mike Petke missed the memo.

A bemused Red Bull boss fielded questions on the potential for a Red Bulls, Cosmos encounter in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. After a series of questions on a bubbling rivalry, Petke threw a question back at the press.

“If you guys want to create a rivalry, that’s one thing. We haven’t faced the Cosmos,” Petke said. “How can you have a rivalry when it’s a team not in your league that you haven’t faced?

“I mean, then you may want to throw the Brooklyn Italians in there. They are a New York team as well. We are just talking about the Cosmos here.”

The New York Cosmos face the Brooklyn Italians next week at St. Johns Belson Stadium in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament. It is the first time the Cosmos have entered the competition in the history of the club, both past and present. If they win that encounter, they will host the Red Bulls at Shuart Stadium on June 14th.

Just last week, Petke called a potential encounter on the 14th “catastrophic,” citing the game’s scheduling at the heart of his team’s extended vacation.

Once the draw came to pass, the Red Bull boss walked back his words.

“Catastrophic, definitely it was in the moment for me,” he explained. “I would have preferred to have played on another date. The only thing I’ll say about that is it is what it is. The only thing that I’m questioning is that U.S. Soccer didn’t pick the date. They allowed the home team to pick the date. That’s kind of strange to me. I might let Dax McCarty pick the lineup this weekend going on that mindset.

“To me, it is a little strange, but it is what it is. Whatever date we play, whatever team we play, we will be ready, we’ll look to win that game.”

Until then, the enticing potential of a Red Bulls, Cosmos encounter will continue to simmer. Since their resurrection, fans from both sides have collided on social media, measuring the success of each club against one another.

Whether that proves enough to fuel interest in the match remains to be seen.

“I guess it depends on how passionate the fans are about playing against another New York team,” Petke noted. “We haven’t figured out who we’re going to play yet.

“After that, we’ll have a better understanding, the fans will voice their opinions. It’ll just be a game for us that we’re going to look to win, no matter who we play.”

    • The real Stan

      Why? Only NASL fans care

  • Anonymous

    It will be interesting if the Red Bulls and Cosmos do meet, and if the Red Bulls defeat the Cosmos with a mostly B side (i.e. No Cahill, Henry, Miller, Olave, and Robles). That would be catastrophic for the Cosmos, if you ask me.

  • Zak

    Petke downplays expectations in case they lose. MLS (and their blockhead NFL minded fans) plays down Open Cup cause it gives attention to other leagues, which they see as a long term threat to their monopoly.

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