It's well understood that many fans living in the tri-state area at this point in time may not have access to power, let alone a television or internet access. However, in an effort to open up more options for MLS fans living in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the NBC Sports Network has lifted blackout restrictions on tonight's match for MLS Live subscribers.
Again, this is only available to MLS Live subscribers living in the NY/NJ/CT area, and only for tonight's match between the Red Bulls and DC United (8 PM kick off).
We'd like to offer a special thank you to NBC Sports for lifting the restrictions and making it easier for our fans to catch the game, whichever method it is they choose to use.
Of course, if you are without a television, computer or electricity, you can follow updates throughout the match on the Red Bulls Twitter page.
Mike Petke knows a thing or two about the New York - DC United rivalry. After all, he spent a number of seasons on the pitch for both sides, before retiring after the 2010 season and assuming the role of assistant coach with New York.
Petke caught up with NewYorkRedBulls.com following Wednesday's training session to discuss the long-standing rivalry, his role as both a player and a coach and New York's valiant win over DC Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.
Having been on both sides of the New York-DC rivalry, what went through your mind Sunday night?
First and foremost it’s great to come out with the win. But that game right there, I believe, does a huge thing for MLS soccer in general. Especially for this year. Anybody who saw that game, whether you know everything or nothing about soccer, you walk away with a smile on your face. It was end-to-end, it was a great possession game and there was five goals scored. A phenomenal full house, and that’s the beauty of the game right there.
As a former player for both teams, what would normally go into your pre-game psyche as you prepped for a game like that, no matter what side you were on?
Take my rookie year. You know, just being thrown into it and not knowing the history – well, there wasn’t much history there, but not knowing the bitterness between the two, I was happy to be out there. From the second year and on I was amped up for that game. I got a couple of red cards throughout the years in those games, scored a couple of goals, for both teams actually in the rivalry, and it’s just one of those things that for a young league like us to have a rivalry and – not a true derby since it’s not the same city – but, you know, the American version of the Derby, it’s very important. It really gets fans and the team really pumped up. I made sure to walk around the locker room leading up to this game to the young guys and the new guys saying, ‘Listen, you know, if you don’t know anything about this rivalry, get on your computer, research it, or ask me. I don’t want you showing up that day and thinking it’s just like any old game.' And they got the picture.
What about extracting yourself from the game as a player and seeing it from the eyes of a coach now?
Oh it’s horrible. I hate it. I hated sitting on the bench with that crowd, with the fight that was going on on the field. You want to be involved in that more than just sitting on the sidelines watching. But it’s good to see some guys, most guys, get into it and realize what it is and almost live a little bit through them.
Having been a part of the rivalry at such an early stage, and seeing how it’s progressed over the years – not necessarily just on the field – but when you looked around at Red Bull Arena, the place was packed. You’ve seen Giants Stadium, RFK, and now this place…how has it grown?
There’s been many games throughout the last 13 years, 14 years, where I’ve scratched my head and said, ‘Uh, this is really a rivalry?’ It just hasn’t panned out. But many games have. That was, I think, the greatest environment I’ve been a part of for a rivalry like that. And there’s been many classic games between us, but I think that’s going to go down as possible the best rivalry game we’ve had with them.
Bigger picture now. Seeing how DC is playing this year as opposed to last year, where they are with the Red Bulls right now in the standings, do you see this thing possibly brewing into a postseason battle as well?
Well, if it does I hope that we have home-field advantage, to be honest with you. DC’s a very good team. Ben Olsen’s a very good friend of mine. I played with him for many years and I couldn’t be happier for him. He got thrown into a situation that he really didn’t have that much experience, but he had the respect of the organization and the players, so they threw him in there and he’s done great with them. But you know, I could definitely see us meeting them down the road in some sort of important game. Yeah, definitely some time this year.
There's a healthy buzz around the Internet today following Tuesday night's U.S. Open Cup action. And why not? The Red Bulls' 3-0 shutout win over the Charleston Battery wasn't the only exciting match of the night. In fact, the full night's worth of matches resulted in a number of upsets, as seven MLS sides were eliminated from contention.
MLSsoccer.com has an individual breakdown of each match, complete with a short summary of some of the most intense matches of the night.
Obviously the level of excitement of each match is up to a fan's own interpretation, but I doubt you'll find anyone who will deny the fact that the Harrisburg City Islanders vs. New England Revolution match was anything short of dramatic.
Once the Red Bulls defeated the Battery, it would come down to the winner of that match to determine the who, when and where of New York's fourth round Open Cup meeting.
New England played a majority of the match down a man, yet still closed out the first 90 minutes in a scoreless draw against Harrisburg. But, seeing as how each match up must produce a winner, a draw was not an option. During extra time, New England jumped out to an explosive 3-0 lead. At that point it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Red Bulls would be hosting the Revolution at Red Bull Arena. After all, a 3-0 lead is pretty much a lock in extra time, right?
Well, not exactly.
The City Islanders caught fire and scored three goals of their own to draw level in the additional 30 minutes of time. From there, Harrisburg closed out its rally with a picture-perfect finish in penalty kicks to not only advance to the next round, but also host the Red Bulls at Skyline Sports Complex in PA on June 5 (7:30 p.m. kickoff).
One of the reasons I love the U.S. Open Cup is the opportunity to discover American soccer in full depth. We can all find the top of the totem pole, the men’s and women’s national teams and MLS. But there’s a lot of soccer out there that’s not fully professional, that’s lesser adorned and not necessarily attached to network TV contracts.
One-by-one the results kept coming in Tuesday night, with each one seeming more unlikely than the last. On perhaps the wildest, most unpredictable night in U.S. Open Cup history, seven MLS teams were eliminated from the competition the third round, and the manner in which some of them were sent packing was downright shocking.
If the fourth round of U.S. Open Cup action turns out to be just as intense as the third, then fans will undoubtedly be treated to some more exciting soccer.
Mark your calendars: Red Bulls vs. City Islanders on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET