|photo by Matt Kremkau
What a huge victory the Red Bulls had down in Austin, Texas as they throttled the Capital city side and took the full three points in the bank, but now they are getting ready for their big match in midweek action as they traveled back to Central Florida to face Orlando City at Exploria Stadium for the Semi-Finals in the US Open Cup.
So far the Red Bulls have already faced this side earlier in the year in a three goals to nil victory in league play back in April at the Purple Palace on Church Street with goals from Luquinhas, Cristian Casserers & a Lewis Morgan Penalty. to take home the full three points. Now it's an elimination game where they will take on a club that has been playing very defensively this entire season.
"That was kind of a complete game by us back then, I think we played very well in all facets of the game. The three goals kind of came in different aspects, with a penalty, a transition moment, and a build-up moment. They’re a good team over the last few months and we’re preparing hard for them, and it should be a good one tomorrow." said Sean Nealis, "Winning the Open Cup? That’s a big goal for everybody. We have a lot of determination to win this game and move on to the championship round. Back in the Hartford game, we kind of sat down and set a lot of goals on why we want to achieve this and it’s becoming a stronger possibility game-by-game."
Gerhard Struber was able to rotate his roster without using Frankie Amaya, Lewis Morgan, and for the majority of the match in Luquinhas sitting on the bench and resting them for this important next step to get to the final in September. Watching the majority of his young kids attacking and tearing down the super high-powered Austin FC side.
In Orlando's last two matches in the US Open Cup, they survived going through 120 minutes and penalty shootouts, but currently, in their last two games, they used the majority of their starters in a friendly against Arsenal and a loss to the Philadelphia Union at home. At the moment the club has been playing strong defense and solid goalkeeping to earn their points either at home or on the road, but you can see that they are suffering in the goal-scoring department as they lost Daryl Dike & Chris Mueller in the transfer window.
That's why they went after Nicholas Gioacchini and just signed Colombian winger Ivan Angulo, but I'm not expecting him to be available for Orlando City, but not sure if Gioacchini will be coming off the bench or starting in this match. The press from Struber's men has worked to perfection and now it will be time to use that magic again on the road in this huge Semi-Final matchup.
This is the moment for this young Red Bulls side to make a huge statement to the entire American Soccer community that all the hard work they have done to get to this level and earn some respect to knock off Orlando City will be in these next 90 minutes or possibly an extra 30 or round of penalties. The big moment is here and they are going to be readyto take advantage of it.