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
Joel Lindpere's first goal of the season has certainly turned a few heads, as it not only led the Red Bulls to a 1-0 road victory in LA but also finds itself in the mix for Goal of the Week honors.
The play developed as defender Connor Lade sent the ball in to Jan Gunnar Solli, who streaked down the wing toward goal looking for an option to open up. That opportunity presented itself as Lindpere kept pace with Solli and charged his way into the box. Solli placed the ball perfectly to a striding Lindpere, who balanced himself to avoid the stumble and slipped a left-footed finish past stunned Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
You know what to do now. Cast your vote here, spread the word on Twitter and Facebook and do your part to ensure Lindpere lands the title for Week 9 Goal of the Week.
Here's the full rundown of this week's nominees:
Vote online or text goal code to 22442.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays.
For complete Goal of the Week coverage—including an archive of past winners—click here.
If you’ve ever been to a match at Red Bull Arena you’ve probably seen (and heard) the large group of fans behind one of the goals singing, chanting, jumping up and down, and supporting the Red Bulls for the full 90 minutes. Those passionate supporters form the "South Ward" at Red Bull Arena. On Saturday night, I experienced the mayhem of Red Bulls fanaticism up close.
When I arrived at New York City's Herald Square late Saturday afternoon the setting was a calm, typical weekend day in Manhattan. People sat on park benches, tourists strolled by carrying shopping bags and taking pictures of the various sights and of course the consistently clogged New York City traffic slowly rolled by. However, in the next hour the typical Saturday in Midtown would be turned on its head.
The first Red Bulls supporters started to slowly pour in. Before long there was a large crowd gathered wearing various Red Bull jerseys, t-shirts, scarves and any other form of Red Bulls colors. A small group of Chelsea fans made their way over to the Square as well, decked out in blue and singing songs in toast to their club’s FA Cup victory earlier that day. The various supporters groups that make up the South Ward at Red Bull Arena (Empire Supporters Club, Viking Army, and Garden State Ultras) carry various tools of their own, but it’s clear that all are united behind their support of one club.
In the shadow of the Empire State Building, the march is set to begin. Red and white flags are raised, a drum is readied, and voices are rising.
“The whole park sings with us, the whole park sings with us,” starts the familiar chant, adapted slightly for the day’s surroundings, followed as usual by a loud “Let’s Go Red Bulls” chant. Even the Chelsea fans started to join in.
As the crowd moves down 33rd Street towards the Football Factory at Legends, traffic moves by even slower than usual, as people roll down their car windows, gawking at the curious scene. Tourists, who just moments earlier were gazing at the Empire State Building, now turn their cameras to the spectacle unfolding on behalf of the Red Bulls supporters. One thing that no one can deny about Red Bull supporters: They. Are. LOUD.
I spoke with two tourists, who said they were around the corner on Fifth Avenue and could hear the supporters from there before making their way over, curious as to what was going on. While they had only a passing familiarity with MLS and the Red Bulls, they came away impressed with the support, saying the fans had “great energy”.
The chants and songs continue: “For you, for you, we’ll be singing a song. All day, all day, we’ll be singing a song. And when we win, we’ll be singing a song.”
“As long as I’m breathing, I’ll sing for the Red Bulls, when we’re winning or when we’re losing. We are your people, we’ll always follow. We’re always behind you, that you can count on.”
Those are just a couple of the staples of the South Ward song book that the supporters broke out for the march and well through the night as the viewing party commenced at the Football Factory. And of course, there were a couple of anti-L.A. songs mixed in as well to get in the proper mood for the night’s match against the Galaxy.
As the march simmered down and the supporters began filing into Legends to watch the match, the “Let’s Go Red Bulls” chant began again, this time with the prelude, “The whole street sings with us, the whole street sings with us.”
By the end of the night it’s clear: Whether a park, a street, a bar; wherever there are Red Bulls supporters, their unbridled passion and energy will transform any typical venue into the sights and sounds of Red Bull Arena.
For the full 90 minutes of the Red Bulls' 1-0 victory over the Galaxy, it felt as if Red Bull Arena had been moved to West 33rd St. in New York.
The South Ward supporters certainly left their mark on New York Saturday.
New York is our home.
Joel Lindpere scored the lone Red Bulls goal in New York's 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara registered his second-career shutout as the Red Bulls picked up three points on the road.
Check out these highlights from New York's 1-0 win over LA:
Joel Lindpere scored his first goal of the season and Ryan Meara earned his second career shutout as the Red Bulls defeated the Galaxy 1-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson Saturday night (Full Recap).
The Red Bulls are back in action Wednesday at 7pm ET when the Houston Dynamo pays a visit to Red Bull Arena. Great tickets available now by visiting Red Bulls Ticket Central or calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Here are a few photos from Saturday's match against LA:
With the LA Galaxy pressing in the later stages of Saturday's match, Ryan Meara stepped up to make a huge save on a laser shot from the Galaxy's Juninho. Watch the replay here:
Robbie Keane nearly put LA on the board in the 13th minute as he chipped one over the head of Ryan Meara. Thankfully Markus Holgersson was there to make this dramatic save off the line to keep it scoreless:
Although Jan Gunnar Solli is '100 percent' for Saturday's match, and forward Juan Agudelo appears to be on the mend as well, there's still a significant list of injuries hampering both the Red Bulls and Galaxy (MLSsoccer.com's Franco Panizo touched on New York's in his Thursday Red Bulls Notebook).
On Friday, MLSsoccer.com asked in its Top 11 Questions heading into the weekend: "Which stars will step up to shine in #NYvLA?"
They had this to say about the matchup:
"The “One-percent Derby,” as some fans involved in this matchup of metropolises cheekily called it last year, may be missing some of its biggest names, with Red Bulls standouts Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez sidelined and the precise status of LA’s David Beckham and Robbie Keane uncertain. Yet it still looks like a fascinating matchup, especially if Dax McCarty maintains his sterling efforts at the base of the RBNY midfield."
McCarty definitely received his fair share of praise this past week after performing as a defensive midfielder against New England.
Who do you think will shine in Saturday's match against LA?