By Daniel Feuerstein
Shocking news for New York Red Bulls fans coming out from MLS Commissioner Don Garber, as Major League Soccer has decided to opt out of the 2024 US Open Cup just so they can reassess their participation for 2025, so instead of the senior team competing for the Open Cup, the Red Bulls two team from MLS Next Pro will take their place just like the other MLS clubs will not have their senior squads battle and in their place will be their Next Pro squads.
Every single season outside of the two COVID years you as supporters of the New York Red Bulls and all the way back to the beginning of the MetroStars, we always watched this club battle against those clubs from MLS or in the lower leagues to see if they can become the National Champion of American Soccer. Battles against the Long Island Rough Riders, Charleston Battery, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Harrisburg City Islanders, Hartford Athletic, Staten Island Vipers, Wilmington Hammerheads, and all clubs within MLS to show the nation why our club wants the US Open Cup dedicated to Lamar Hunt.
Twice the club has made it to the finals and sadly fell short against the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City, but every single year all of us want to see the players who put on those kits for the senior team battle for ninety minutes, maybe an extra thirty, or go through the penalty kick shootout to advance to the next round. Remember those games like the Penalty kick shootout winner at the Columbus Crew when Tim Howard was in the net back in 2000, or the comeback victory in the Quarterfinals at Columbus, then the miracle golazo by John Wolyniec at Yurcak Field in Rutgers against hated DC United.
The club is also ahead of NYCFC defeating them three times in the US Open Cup in all three matchups, The amazing Amado Guevara and the extra time golden goal match-winner against the New England Revolution, Bradley Wright-Phillips and his two goals to level the match in regulation and the winner in extra time at the Semi-Finals of 2017. Remember the time the South Ward protested the performance on the road at the Chicago Fire when Hans Backe refused to travel with the club and it was an assistant inside the technical area at Seet Geek Stadium? All of you stayed quiet for forty-five minutes at home against FC Dallas.
Now MLS is showing a major disservice to you, to the club, to the players, to the rest of the league, and the entire sport, and to all the leagues underneath them in the lower levels that they aren't good enough to be considered a part of this beautiful tournament that trophy was brought over by a Scottish Whiskey distiller, and dedicated Lamar Hunt's name to the tournament. It's a disgrace and while they will reassess their participation for 2025, you will be cheated from attending or going on the road to see brilliant games to reach the final, hopefully to win a trophy and get back to the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Those nights are now gone for 2024, Don Garber got his wish. US Soccer has no backbone. Whatever Don Garber wants. Don Garber gets and it's a tragedy.