The New York Red Bulls are looking to put their recent disappointments and a history of U.S. Open Cup shortcomings behind them as they face the Charleston Battery in the third round of the nation’s oldest tournament.
Vying for a chance to collect their first piece of silverware and the opportunity to represent MLS in CONCACAF Champion’s League, New York is expected to field a strong team – up to eight starters in all. Among those who will not make the trip? Team captain Thierry Henry. Even so, the Red Bulls will be bolstered by the additions of Wilman Conde, Jan Gunnar Solli and Stephen Keel.
The Charleston Battery are currently third in the USL Pro standings with two games at hand on league leaders, Orlando City. They are 3-2 at Blackbaud this season, but are considered one of the better franchises in the league.
Here is what you need to know heading into tonight’s match-up:
- The Charleston Battery are 2-0 in US Open Cup history against New York.
- Charleston won their last match in 2004 – a 1-0 decision.
- John Wolyniec is the teams all-time leading scorer in US Open Cup competition (7).
- The Red Bulls are 14-13 all time in the competition.
ABOUT THE BATTERY
- Midfielder Nicki Paterson leads the team in scoring with four goals in eight matches.
- Jose Cuevas leads the team in assists with three.
- The Battery currently stand third in their division, with two games in hand.
- Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra is a former Chicago Fire and DC United player.
- Kyle Hoffer will face the Red Bulls for the second year in a row. The standout defender was part of the tight knit FC New York unit that repelled the Red Bulls for most of their encounter in the US Open Cup last year.
STORIES TO FOLLOW
- A SECOND CHANCE - Hans Backe was buried for his handling of the US Open Cup last season. A 4-0 loss at Chicago compounded by his absence for the match left a sour taste in the mouths of Red Bull supporters. This year, he has a chance for redemption.
- STARTING FORWARDS - Kenny Cooper is a lock up top, but who will partner with him? Jhonny Arteaga may be a candidate, but the team has also used Mehdi Ballouchy in a similar role recently.
- DEFENSE COMES TOGETHER - Wilman Conde will make his long awaited return. His inclusion will likely push Pearce to the left, while Barklage continues his right back duties. How will the big Colombian defender fare?
- NOT WIND NOR HAIL … Forecasts are calling for a tropical storm over Charleston. How will this effect the match?
- CAN NEW YORK FINALLY BEAT CHARLESTON?
THE CONSEQUENCES …
The winner of the Red Bulls-Battery match will face the winner of the New England Revolution-Harrisburg City Islanders game in the 4th Round of the tournament, scheduled for June 5.
If the Red Bulls win, and the Revolution win, New York will host their match at Red Bull Arena
If the Battery win, and the Revolution win, the Battery will host New England.
If the Red Bulls or Battery win, and the Islanders win, Harrisburg will play host at Hershey Park Stadium.
DID YOU KNOW …
New York Red Bulls goalkeeping coach Todd Hoffard was part of the Charleston Battery team that beat New York in 2001?
Red Bulls 2 – 1 Charleston Battery (Ballouchy, Conde)