Sacha Kljestan said he and the team all wish they could have raised a trophy for their fans.
"We’re disappointed to not come away with the trophy," Kljestan said following the team's U.S. Open Cup Final loss to Sporting Kansas City.
Kljestan and the New York Red Bulls fell 2-1 on Wednesday night after reaching their second Open Cup Final in club history.
I'm gutted that we couldn't do more tonight. Thank you to all of our fans that have stood behind us all season...— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) September 21, 2017
...The guys gave everything tonight and this experience will make us better in the end. I'm sorry we couldn't lift the cup. #RBNY— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) September 21, 2017
"I thought the effort that everybody put forward was 110 percent there," Kljestan said. "I asked the guys before the game to look across at each other during the game and to know that every other player had each other’s back and to give everything they had. I’ve never felt more like my teammates had my back more than tonight and I feel like they gave everything they had."
The Red Bulls, down two goals late, clawed back within one goal on a Bradley Wright-Phillips rebound and put the pressure on Kansas City late, but couldn't find the second goal.
We know about the suffering of the fans, and never having a cup of our own," Kljestan said. "We know that pressure is always going to be there, whether you play for a club that has won a bunch of titles or not, then the expectations may start to grow even more. But when you play for a club that hasn’t won, the expectations are pretty heavy."
The team captain and the Red Bulls will look to finish out the MLS regular season, with six games remaining, as they push toward the playoffs and the 2017 MLS Cup.