The New York Red Bulls have traditionally been snakebit in their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup play. Ousters to lesser teams, no shows by coaches and mind blowing blunders have been the norm leaving fans to scatch their heads and wonder just what they need to do to succeed.
This year, they are doubling their chances.
The Red Bulls U-23 NPSL team has qualified for the first round of US Open Cup play. The USOC announced their dates this afternoon, and the “Baby Bulls” will face the Nor’Easters on the 14th of this month at Carey Stadium in Ocean City. The team is made up of Red Bull Academy players. Fellow NPSL rivals the Brooklyn Italians also qualified for the first round, hosting Danny Szetela’s Jersey based Icon FC side at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Red Bulls Academy team is quite familiar with the Brooklyn Italians. In fact, the Baby Bulls ran rampant on the NPSL Northeast-Atlantic Conference last season, running away with first place after a near undefeated 12 game season (11-1). They outscored opponents, 33 to 8 lapping the second place Italians by eight points at season’s end.
If either the Red Bulls, Italians or Icon FC advance, they will face regional opponents from either the USLPro or NASL divisions in the second round. The third round of the tournament features all 16 Major League Soccer sides where the potential is there for a Red Bull v. Red Bull encounter.