Red Bulls Eliminate NYCFC From Open Cup, Continue Dominance Over Rivals

© Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Red Bull New York eliminated New York City FC from the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 victory at Red Bull Arena. The loss was NYCFC’s sixth in seven matches against their rivals across the Hudson River.

The Red Bulls move on to the next round of the tournament, while NYCFC remain winless in it. The previous two years they were eliminated by the New York Cosmos, which means they are 1-8 in nine matches against area rivals.

Danny Royer scored the lone goal of the match in the 67th minute off a Bradley Wright-Phillips rebound. The play developed when Alex Muyl forced a turnover from Frederic Brillant on the far wing. The goal was the Austrian’s third in his last five matches.

Though he did not factor into the goal, the Metro Soccer Nation Man of The Match was Tyler Adams. The 18-year-old made his return from the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea by going 90 stellar minutes. The fearless teen, who attended his high school prom only days before, helped keep reigning MLS MVP David Villa from making any noticeable impact on the match. His hard challenges, and quick legs helped him cover a large portion of the field as he helped make up for rare mistakes from his teammates.

The match turned around at halftime when NYCFC’s creative engine, Maxi Moralez, needed to be subbed off due to injury. Without him, the Red Bulls’ midfield of Adams, Royer, Muyl, Felipe, and Sacha Kljestan was able to maintain nearly 70% possession.

While both teams fielded their A lineups, RBNY elected to rest Luis Robles, and gave Ryan Meara his first start of the season. The decision nearly cost them dearly in the second half, when David Villa pinged a relatively harmless-looking shot off the far post which froze the goalkeeper. Fortunately for Meara, the rebound came straight to him, and he was able to cover it up.

The best chance for NYCFC came early in the first half when Tommy McNamara came within a hair’s length of giving his squad the lead. In the 16th minute, the American international slipped behind the defense and sent a shot off the top crossbar which redirected directly onto the goalline with such force that it ricocheted off the crossbar a second time before Aaron Long cleared it from danger.

When the final whistle sounded, the 11,311 fans had witnessed the most thrilling iteration of the Hudson River Derby since it’s inception in 2015. It’s a shame that U.S. Soccer set prices ridiculously high for the match, and that it wasn’t televised. However, both teams will go back at it on June 24th, only days later. After Wednesday’s thriller, New York soccer fans can hardly wait to watch the two teams lace them up again.