|photo by Matt Kremkau
It's early this season, but it's never early to see the oldest rivalry in the history of MLS as the New York Red Bulls will travel to our Nation'scapitl and take on DC United in the 4th round of the U.S. Open Cup. With the club's current issues at home, it's a good feeling to see them get back on the road and make a big attempt to advance to the next round in this one-off
The first time these two sides faced off in the u.S. open Cup was in the 2003 Semi-Finals down at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University as John Wolyniec smashed a rebound strike that sizzled in the air and smashed it into the back of the net. Sadly in that final, they lost to the Chicago Fire by a goal to nil.
The next time these two sides faced each other, in the Quarterfinals of the 2006 edition where an Amado Guevara goal would level the score before halftime, but a Jamil Walker brace would push DC United into the Semi-Finals that year. So this will be the third meeting between these two rivals in this knockout domestic cup competition, but the first at Audi Field for these two sides.
We all know that a derby match will always be big for the players and the fans but also the coaching staff, as they want to get the bragging rights before they face off in league play this season, which will be at Red Bull Arena later this month.
"I think of course we will have a little bit of a small rotation against DC, it's from the game plan and what we need to do to be at an outstanding level." said Head Coach Gerhard Struber, "With the coaching change that they made, we know they are playing a very similar style when their season got started. They play direct and with the similar aggression.
"This means we have a clear message on how we need to play this match and move on to the next round so we can advance ourselves. We have the moment in our hands, but we now need to prove this on Tuesday night, so we need to be aware of their players and how they attack with their directness."
Without a doubt, the Red Bulls not only do they need to advance to the next round but keep their road form intact since the season got started in San Jose this past May. six straight road victories in all competitions have put this club in unfamiliar territory and so far if they want to make it seven, then a strong performance at Audi Field should push them even more.
This has always been a special derby for these two ides, In the past, DC United has had the upper hand against the Red Bulls, but in current seasons, the pendulum has swung to the Red Bulls favor, with the last two playoff series going their way, Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring his 100th career league goal as the fastest striker in league history, and so on. Now it's time to add on to that and make this match count.