To say the New York Red Bulls were disappointed following their fourth-round exit in the US Open Cup would be an understatement.
The Red Bulls were bounced out of the tournament on Tuesday after a 3-1 loss to USL Pro club Harrisburg City Islanders, and their frustration with their performance in the game at Skyline Sports Complex was easy to see.
“We didn’t perform well and they played with all their heart, and it’s one of those losses that’s really hard to swallow,” defender Jan Gunnar Solli (above) said. “It shouldn’t happen, but unfortunately it did. Everybody’s really disappointed now. A lot of fans came out to support us and we were hoping the outcome would be different.”
New York fell behind in the first half despite dominating possession in the early going, as former Red Bulls player Sainey Touray headed home a cross. The Red Bulls responded with a second-half finish from rookie Connor Lade, but they struggled once extra time began.
Harrisburg reclaimed a lead four minutes into the extra session they would not give up, as Touray once again punished the Red Bulls by scoring with a lobbed effort over Ryan Meara.
“We’re disappointed with how we came out in extra time,” Lade said. “They came out a bit sharper than we did and were fortunate enough to get on the board first. From there, it was an uphill battle.”
New York scrambled to find an equalizer and came close on a few occasions. However, the combination of poor finishing and stellar goalkeeping from City Islanders netminder Nick Noble kept the result in the hosts’ favor.
Now, a disappointed Red Bulls team must regroup as they set their sights elsewhere for hardware.
“We’re focusing on winning that MLS Cup,” Lade said. “We really wanted to get this one as well, but now that this one is out of the picture, we can focus in and put all our efforts and concentration to winning that.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.