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Red Bull Knock Off D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup 2023


J.J. Pavlick

The matchup coming in had many interesting takes as United have been having mixed success while sitting in 8th place and the Red Bull saw their head coach Struber walk away from the Club on Monday and former assistant coach Troy Lesesne took the helm with only a day to prepare for United. Wayne Rooney's squad is not going to do the new coach any favors during the short transfer of power. The game will be played at Montclair State University and the smaller venue should give Red Bull the much-needed boost in support from the fans. The Red Bulls need wins and fast if they want to stay alive in the race for the playoffs. They currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference. A win in the cup tournament could be just the boost this squad needs going into the Darby against rivals NYCFC on Saturday night. This season Red Bull can be summed up very simply it's either one or none when it comes to goals and that strategy will be hard to maintain as the season goes deeper.

The first half saw the Red Bull get multiple chances in the box only to see none capitalized on as Tom Barlow continues his anemic attacking ability this season. Barlow was open 4 yards out from the goal and placed the shot well wide of the goal. Omir Fernandez who has been having a good year in the midfield found space and let off a rocket to the 1st post upper 90 and it took every inch of the D.C. keeper to save it in the 10'. Two minutes later Tolkin placed a great pass into space, but no one made the run to the 1st post and the ball went out for a goal kick. Already under Troy, we're seeing a more aggressive attacking Red Bull team. Edelman broke into the box and Bono came up big for his side denying the young midfielder his day of glory from point-blank range. In the 24' Casseres has a well-played weighted pass come his way in the box but for some reason he didn't run onto the pass for a one-touch shot at goal. Just four minutes later the crowd would go into a frenzy when Omir Fernandez drives a hard low driven missile inside the 2nd post for the lead. It was the 1st Red Bull goal at home since April 15th against Houston, that goal was also scored by Omir Fernandez. The Red Bull faced a scare in the 32' when goalkeeper Ryan Meare misread the cross into the box, thankfully it was a Red Bull night, and the ball went out of play and out of danger. DC had a few more solid chances in the half, but the Red Bull held their ground and thwarted their attempts. Barlow would have one more try at goal before the half ended but he missed the tap-in goal and it also evaded O. Fernandez the lone goal scorer of the 1st half. The fourth official would show no added time to the half.

So far, we have seen some mixed formations by the new man in charge and all his calls have been leading to results. One would expect Rooney to try and mix things up as best as possible given his limited bench for the match. The second half started a bit slow with battles in the midfield leading nowhere for either side. In the 55' Tolkin would clear away a dangerous cross into the box via header and Edelman would in turn get run over by a United Freight truck near midfield. Cory Burke would go down twice, due to the same ankle in the 58' and 69', which would result in the new coach taking no chances and pulling Burke off the pitch for Dylan Nealis in the 70'. D.C. came close in the 71' when Ruan fired a shot just over the crossbar off of a corner kick. In the 77' Wiki Carmona would dance past the United defense and place a nice pass into Barlow who falls over the ball 7 yards from the goal. The score would remain 1 - 0 Red Bull, Manoel would come on for Barlow in the 82'. In the 87' Dylan Nealis just mistimed his jump otherwise he had enough space on the 2nd post to make it a 2 - 0 lead. Manoel would miss a golden opportunity 1 v 1 with the keeper in the 88'. The fourth official showed a minimum of 4' added to the second half. Red Bull would finish strong and secure the 1 - 0 victory!

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