Red Bulls Look Back On U.S. Open Cup Disappointment

Backe, Conde reflect back on tough Fourth Round Open Cup loss

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls may be a week removed from losing in the US Open Cup, but the painful feeling of elimination still lingers.

The Red Bulls returned to the practice field on Tuesday morning after a short break, but the time off has not helped erase the frustration the team has after being bounced out of the third round of the US Open Cup last Tuesday in a 3-1 extra time defeat to the Harrisburg City Islanders.

“Very, very disappointing,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe told reporters about the result. “Lose those kinds of games, make mistakes, I would say it’s just too much. But overall we had our chances. We definitely had six, seven clear chances and we couldn’t even hit the target. You could see in that game it was a lot of lack of quality. That’s for sure.”

The Red Bulls players echoed their coach’s sentiments, saying a win over the City Islanders should have been had.

“The truth is, it was very frustrating because I believe we are a very professional team that should be capable of going anywhere and getting a result,” said center back Wilman Conde. “The truth is we’re disillusioned with the result. We ran, pushed and tried but things didn’t work out for us. There were also a few incidents with the refs, who are human and make mistakes, but we didn’t get the result.”

One of those incidences was on a clear handball inside the penalty area that was not awarded in the Red Bulls’ favor in the second half of extra time when they trailed 2-1. And while there has been much frustration from fans about the no-call and officiating, New York believes the game should not have come down to that.

“It just seemed like it was one of those games where you might just need a little bit of luck, but it shouldn’t be like that playing a USL (Pro) team,” said goalkeeper Ryan Meara.  “But they defended well, they were tough to break down, especially when they went up. We’re all disappointed but I think you have to give them credit, too.”

The Red Bulls will need to turn the page on their Open Cup disappointment, as they return to MLS action this Sunday with a road game against the Chicago Fire.

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Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @FrancoPanizo