The pain of Tuesday’s quarterfinal ouster in the US Open Cup still stings for the New York Red Bulls. But a mere 24 hours later, there is yet another match to be played. Just don't expect many of the Red Bulls' regulars to play it.
The Red Bulls will take on reigning English Premier League champions Chelsea FC on Wednesday night, leaving New York head coach Jesse Marsch with an unenviable challenge. After a physically and emotionally draining USOC shootout loss to the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday, it’s up to Marsch pick his team back up and get ready for an International Champions Cup contest.
“We have to figure out a way to put out another competitive team on the field against Chelsea,” Marsch said. “That’s still important, with a big stadium, to make sure we have a good performance on the day.”
Given the friendly's scheduling barely 24 hours after the Open Cup game, many first-team regulars will not be at Marsch’s disposal on Wednesday. In their stead, some fresh faces will get their shot to hold their own against one of the world’s best clubs.
“It’ll be a good chance for a lot of our young guys to be a part of that,” Marsch said. “We’re looking at Tyler Adams, one of our young guys who’s been in the academy with the U-17s. He’s been with the USL team.”
Some familiar names may also see the pitch after returning from Gold Cup duty and missing out on the club’s Open Cup defeat. Roy Miller (Costa Rica) and Karl W. Ouimette (Canada) have rejoined the club and figure to play a role in Wednesday night’s match. Additionally, young players such as midfielders Sean Davis and Leo Stolz could see significant playing time.
“It’ll be a good chance for some young guys to contribute at the first-team level and be part of this a little bit more,” Marsch said. “That experience overall will be very good for those guys.”
Eric Giacometti covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com.