The New York Red Bulls showed a determined face when they dispatched the Charleston Battery 3-0 in the third round of US Open competition. Now, Backe and his men travel out to Harrisburg to face the City Islanders for the second time in three years.
For New York, the message has stayed consistent. “It’s a high priority,” Backe stated. “Like we said in the beginning of the year, we should make a run for the Cup.” Still, Harrisburg has already proven to be a spoiler – both against New York back in 2010 and the Revolution in this year’s competition.
Will New York be able to fight back one of the tournament’s Cinderella sides?
EoS breaks it all down for you:
- The City Islanders are 1-0 in US Open Cup history against New York (4-2 against MLS competition)
- The City Islanders won their last match in 2010 – Hans Backe’s first US Open Cup competition – a 1-0 decision to oust the team from the tournament.
- Tyler Ruthven briefly played for the Islanders
- Islanders leading assist man Sainey Touray was part of the Red Bulls reserve team in 2008.
- John Wolyniec is the teams all-time leading scorer in US Open Cup competition (7).
- The Red Bulls are 15-13 all time in US Open Cup competition.
ABOUT THE CITY ISLANDERS
- The Harrisburg City Islanders have been a consistent force in USL Pro. They currently sit in fifth place with a 3-1-4 record.
- JT Noone, a hometown boy and a fixture during the 2010 match against New York, will likely feature in tonight’s battle. “As for Red Bulls, we hope to carry our momentum into that while also making sure to keep progressing in our league,” he said.
- Yann Ekra leads the team with goals (4); good for second in the league.
- Forward Sainey Touray and midfielder Jason Pelletier lead the team in assists (3).
- Midfielder Morgan Langley sits third league wide in foul committed.
STORIES TO FOLLOW
- ELIMINATION ENCORE? - The Harrisburg City Islanders made perhaps one of the most stunning comebacks in professional soccer this year. Facing the New England Revolution, the team managed to take the MLS side into overtime, tied 0-0. There, the Revolution exploded for three unanswered goals. Not to be outdone, Harrisburg came back, tied the match, and advanced on penalty kicks. Will the Isles have any magic left in the tank?
- WILL ARTEAGA PERFORM? - Kenny Cooper remains red hot, but Jhonny Arteaga struggled in his first extended minutes with the club. New York shipped Corey Hertzog away on a month long loan thinking Arteaga could handle the starting duties. Can he have a comeback performance?
- A SHORT BENCH - Though Hans Backe is not known for dipping into his bench, his options may be thinner than ever. With Thierry Henry, Jose Angulo and Teemu Tainio injured, Tyler Ruthven suspended and Rafa Marquez, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere and Victor Palsson away on international duty, Backe will have all of three available subs (four with Vuolo) for the match tonight.
THE CONSEQUENCES …
The winner of the Red Bulls-Islanders match will face the winner of DC United v Philadelphia Union game in the quarterfinals of the tournament, scheduled for June 26th.
If either the Red Bulls or Islanders advance, they will be set to play at RFK Stadium or PPL Park, respectively.
DID YOU KNOW …
Kenny Cooper has scored 11 goals in 13 appearances (11 starts); 12 goals in 14 appearances when counting US Open Cup competition.
Red Bulls 2 – 1 City Islanders (Cooper, Arteaga)