As the New York Red Bulls prepare to take on Sporting Kansas City in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, we remember the club’s only prior appearance in championship match.
On Wednesday, October 15, 2003, the MetroStars hosted the Chicago Fire at Giants Stadium.
The MetroStars were looking for their first title in club history, while the Fire were hoping to hoist the title for the third time.
The Metros began the tournament in the Third Round and qualified for the Open Cup Final with wins against Mid Michigan Bucks (4-0), Columbus Crew (4-3), New England Revolution (2-1, After Sudden Death Extra Time) and D.C. United (3-2).
Both teams were littered with familiar faces.
Chicago’s Starting XI for the Final featured Jesse Marsch (Red Bulls Head Coach), captain Chris Armas (Red Bulls Assistant Coach) and led by assistant coach Denis Hamlett (Red Bulls Sporting Director).
For the MetroStars, John Wolyniec (Red Bulls II Head Coach) featured in the game off the bench while Steve Jolley (New York Red Bulls Radio Analyst) started on defense.
Both teams came out with plenty of energy to start the match, which quickly became a physical, midfield battle, but entered the locker room scoreless.
In the second half, Chicago broke the deadlock on the 68th minute.
Evan Whitfield laid off a pass to Damani Ralph, who’s first-time shot found the bottom-right corner of the goal.
The MetroStars pushed for the equalizer, with the biggest chance coming in the 80th minute as the tournament’s top scorer, Amado Guevara, headed a shot from close range, which was saved off the line.
In the end, Chicago prevailed, 1-0, and Marsch, Armas and Hamlett lifted their third U.S. Open Cup title.
On Wednesday, September 20, the trio hopes to lift another Open Cup trophy, except this time, for the Red Bulls.
Chicago Fire Lineup:
GK-Zach Thornton, D-Kelly Gray, D-Jim Curtin, D-Carlos Bocanegra, M-Evan Whitfield, M-Chris Armas (Capt.), M-DaMarcus Beasley, M-Jesse Marsch, M-Orlando Perez (Andy Williams 66), F-Damani Ralph, F-Ante Razov.
GK-Jonny Walker, D-Chris Leitch, D-Steve Jolley, D-Eddie Pope (Capt.), D-Edgar Bartolomeu, M-Richie Williams (Mark Lisi 78), M-Ricardo Clark, M-Amado Guevara, M-Eddie Gaven, F-Andrzej Juskowiak (John Wolyniec 69), F-Clint Mathis (Mike Magee 76).
CHI: Damani Ralph 2 (Evan Whitfield 2) 68’
CHI: Jesse Marsch (Caution; Pushing, Holding) 16’
MET: Edgar Bartolomeu (Caution; Pushing, Holding) 50’
MET: Clint Mathis (Caution; Delaying a Restart) 58’
CHI: Andy Williams (Caution; Pushing, Holding) 89’
Shots on Goal
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Nathan Clement, Craig Lowry
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:51