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The Lesesne Change works in the Open Cup

photo by Matt Kremkau

by Daniel Feuerstein


That is what the Red Bull way is all about. What we saw tonight at Montclair State University Soccer Park is what was preached by Jesse Marsch, attempted by Chris Armas, Bradley Carnell, and sadly fell apart by Gerhard Struber. What we saw with a new man in charge for the rest of the 2023 season is the hope that there is change and plenty of room to save the season.

I don't care what Wayne Rooney brought over to face the Red Bulls with his undermanned DC United side, the level of fight, press, conviction, and while they are still undermanned due to injuries, what you saw on a Tuesday night at the home of RBNY 2 of MLS Next Pro, is what we have all been missing at the start of this season at Red Bull Arena.

The communication was better, the linkup play was better and if they can continue to play like this, we can say that this current season is saved and they may climb out of the basement of the Eastern Conference. If not then they should at least make a run in the US Open Cup to show the rest of the East and the league they will be dangerous again in 2024.

Troy LeSene knew he had a very teeny, tiny window to get these players ready for a big derby match against DC United who once again knocked them out of the Open Cup in the 4th Round in consecutive seasons. A fantastic cross from the near side by Tom Barlow found a trailing Omir Fernandez who smashed it home past Alex Bono in the 28th minute. That was all the Red Bulls needed, as DC United came into the match like a lamb and couldn't do a thing to trouble the Red Bulls. Maybe a chance or two, but nothing came of it at all.

Ryan Meara had a solid match and made three saves on five total shots, but none of them were on frame. You can tell this was free-flowing like it was in seasons past, a bit concerned for Corey Burke who subbed into the start of the second half with a right ankle injury, but hopefully, he will be fine and ready to go for the upcoming league match against NYCFC. 

The Troy LeSense era has begun on the right foot. The hope now is that this continues on into the current season and maybe, more positives will come the Red Bulls way, now worry about the draw on Thursday afternoon, and the next league match.


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