What's At Stake?
When the Red Bulls played Philadelphia in the Open Cup two weeks ago, it didn’t seem like much was at stake. After all a few days before, Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe conceded that he would be resting his starters for the match. Then, New York, led by a number of young players, came out and performed well in beating a Union side that had several regulars in the lineup and on the bench.
Now, this Wednesday’s game is an opportunity for the Red Bulls to build depth and run out the young guns again ahead of a busy summer schedule that includes several friendly matches against European sides and a full slate of MLS.
The Richie Williams coached Red Bulls earned a hard-fought draw in mid-September last year against New England, briefly taking the lead off a John Wolyniec goal in the 69th minute. All time, New York is 16-24-11 against the Revolution but do boast an impressive 12-8-7 mark at home against New England. This is, however, the first meeting between the two sides at Red Bull Arena.
New England and New York have met in Open Cup play once, in 2003 at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. Then it was the Metrostars who defeated the Revolution in the quarterfinals by a 2-1 result. The game was decided with four minutes left in extra time on a goal by Amado Guevera. The MetroStars would advance to the final that year, losing at Giants Stadium to the Chicago Fire.
Heroes & Villains
Sassano vs. Sassano – In his first start in league play all season last weekend, Luke Sassano got red-carded in the 13th minute for a challenge on San Jose’s Bobby Convey. The card doomed the Red Bulls to a 4-0 defeat but there is a pretty good chance that Sassano will see some time on Wednesday night in the Open Cup game. He will need to respond with a balance of a cool head and the tough play that made him a regular for the team the past two years. Sassano is a tough player who has been through a lot with this team and should bounce back well.
Albright vs. The Revs— Albright was unavailable Saturday night as he and his wife were expecting a child, but Albright should start against his old teammates on Wednesday night. This is a chance for the right back, acquired from New England on draft day, to show that last year’s knee injury won’t hold back his career. Albright’s ability as a right back can help turn New York from a pretender to a real contender and Wednesday night against his old mates is a real good test for him.
Stat That Makes You Go, “Hmm …”
Andrew Boyens was named to the New Zealand World Cup squad this week but has yet to play a minute in league action for the team. His only extended action of the season for New York came two weeks ago against Philadelphia in the U.S. Open Cup.
He Said It
“We didn’t give up. I can’t complain. They never gave up and that was a good sign.”— New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe on Saturday’s 4-0 loss to San Jose, when the Red Bulls played more than 75 minutes with a man down.