U.S. Open Cup: Red Bulls vs. Crystal Palace USA (Matchday Commentary)

U.S. Open Cup: Red Bulls vs. Crystal Palace USA (Matchday Commentary)

U.S. Open Cup

U.S. Open Cup: Red Bulls vs. Crystal Palace USA (Matchday Commentary)

Red_bulls_logoCrystalpalaceusalogo

Good evening folks. I’m coming to you from Lawrence E. Knight Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, where the New York Red Bulls will take on Crystal Palace USA in U.S. Open Cup action.

It was a smooth ride down from New Jersey and the best thing I can tell you about the stadium is that it’s a modest use of the word stadium. It’s a high school field with five bleachers one side and one bleacher on the opposite side (where the Empire Supporter’s Club will sit).

Crystal Palace USA is a USL-2 team with only a few players you may have heard of, such as former New England defender Ibrahim Kante and former Real Salt Lake forward Sergio Flores.

I will provide you with commentary throughout the night on everything going on here, from the quaint setting to the raucous performance of the ESC. Oh, and the game too.

Enjoy.

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FINAL- Thanks for following along tonight, even if it was an awful night for the Red Bulls. Good night.

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FINAL– So what happened tonight? Yes, the field was narrow, and the Red Bulls were missing their six best players, but it still came down to energy and execution. Too many players didn’t come to play tonight. The consolation is that there won’t be an extra game to worry about next week, but that’s not really much consolation.

Ultimately, only deep MLS teams can consistently do well in the U.S. Open Cup because congested schedules force MLS teams to use their bench and a team like the Red Bulls just didn’t have the horses on the bench to get the job done tonight.

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FINAL- Crystal Palace 2, Red Bulls 0

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90th minute– The Red Bulls could definitely have used Dane Richards tonight. And Dave Van Den Bergh. And Juan Pablo Angel. And Clau…okay, I won’t go there.

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90th minute– Magee just got a red card for dissent. He’s been yapping at the ref all game long and the ref finally got fed up.

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90th minute– The Red Bulls are still looking for a goal and can’t break through. On the bright side ESC is still singing.

WOW, Palace nearly scores again on a counterattack but the shot goes wide right.

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89th minute– I have to say that Palace defender Andrew Marshall has looked solid tonight.

Corner kick Red Bulls

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87th minute– For those of you keeping track at home, the Red Bulls have had a man advantage since midway through the first half and have fallen behind a goal further. Sergio Flores is entering the game. That’s quite a tumble, from MLS to late sub in USL-2. To be fair, he was with RSL during the really bad years (yes, I know, that can be every year except this one).

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86th minute– Mendes forces a diving save.

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86th minute– No change here. Had some connection problems so apologies.

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79th minute– The Palace fans are starting to make some noise now. The "You only sing when you’re winning" chant was never more appropriate.

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77th minute– Brooks re-directed a ball with a sweet little side-volley move that beat Thornton from about 15. Crystal Palace 2, Red Bulls 0.

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75th minute- GOAL CRYSTAL PALACE. Gary Brooks.

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74th minute– A Palace shots hits the left post and almost goes in. Red Bulls caught a break there. That chance came on a long ball and Brooks beating Parke. Palace has some speed up top and can create chances without much build-up. The Red Bulls could use some speed up top. Megaloudis hasn’t shown me much tonight.

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71st minute– Red Bulls corner kick is caught by the Palace keeper and things get testy afterwards when Goldthwaite runs into the keeper.

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69th minute– Red Bulls is starting to build some better attacks. Not sure if Palace is getting tired or the Red Bulls are just clicking. Wolyniec is playing well.

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67th minute– Red Bulls corner after a nice passing sequence. Roth with a good touch. The corner is headed on goal but a Palace defender on the right post clears it.

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65th minute– David Roth has come in for Danleigh Borman. Apparently there are more than three subs allowed in the U.S. Open Cup.

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64th minute– Not a lot of positives from the Red Bulls tonight but Mendes has been rock solid in the middle.

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62nd minute– Magee with a free kick that goes right to the keeper. Had some pace to it but wasn’t threatening the keeper.

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62nd minute– Red Bulls with a long free kick straight on goal.

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59th minute– The ESC just set off a smoke bomb and the smoke is making its way to the sideline. Great stuff from them tonight. They deserve better than the Red Bulls have given tonight.

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57th minute– This is an ugly one. Ubiparipovic and Wolyniec haven’t added the punch you’d think they would add to the attack.

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54th minute– Mbuta forces a save from Thornton. It isn’t so much that Palace is creating a lot, but when their forwards get the ball in the final third, they have the speed to create their own shots. Now, if they could finish those shots, they would probably be playing at a higher level.

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53rd minute– Red Bulls are trying to work the flanks this half but not having much success early on.

Good job by Osorio to replace Kljestan and Gilkerson, who were just awful. Leitch didn’t do anything wrong, he just had to come out for the switch to a three-man defense.

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52nd minute– Matthew Mbuta is a quick and decent player from Palace. He’s from Cameroon and has some wheels.

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51st minute– Here’s the formation now:

————–Wolyniec———Megaloudis——————-

Borman—————–Magee———————-Sassano

——————Mendes—–Ubiparipovic——————

Goldthwaite————Boyens———————–Parke

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50th minute– Andrew Boyens is in for John Gilkerson as well.

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48th minute– Gordon Kljestan and Chris Leitch are out. The Red Bulls are running a 3-5-2 now.

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47th minute– Wolyniec and Ubiparipovic are in the match.

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46th
minute
– Nightfall has set in here and let’s just say the lighting is inadequate. I feel like i’m at a drive-in.

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46th minute– We’re underway.

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HALFTIME– For those of you wondering, I’m sitting at a table that’s five feet from the sideline. It would be a great view if the game weren’t so ugly.

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HALFTIME– Yeah, that will be the only picture I take from here. My digital camera ran out of battery. Luckily for me, Howard C. Smith of ISI Photos is here so we’ll get some great photos later on tonight.

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HALFTIME– The Red Bulls are losing the match on the field, but the ESC has crushed the Palace fans off the field. Here’s a picture of the Red Bulls fans:

Redbullsfans_4

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HALFTIME- Crystal Palace 1, Red Bulls 0.

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45th minute– Red Bulls corner. Goldthwaite heads it over and reaches for his back afterwards. He’s up and looks okay.

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45th minute– The Palace corner is cleared but on the rebound Palace sends a ball in that Brooks finishes but he was offside.

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45th minute– Palace with a corner.

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45th minute– SAVE palace. Danleigh Borman with a great volley that forced a nice diving save by Brian Rowland.

Four minutes of added time.

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45th minute– Someone should tell the Red Bulls they are still losing.

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44th minute– The referee just booked another Palace player for delaying a restart. That’s about the fifth or sixth Palace card.

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40th minute– Gilkerson isn’t playing well at all. He keeps getting his passes intercepted. Well, intercepted is a strong term. The passes are going right to the defense.

Kljestan gets a yellow. He and Magee are in the book now.

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39th minute– Kljestan finally gets a touch. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t his first touch but it’s the first time I noticed him tonight.

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38th minute– It was, in fact, a straight red card. The Red Bulls are knocking it around but the long balls in aren’t finding anybody. They need to keep it on the ground for a bit.

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35th minute– Announcer called it a second yellow but it looked like a straight red. Maybe I missed the yellow being shown. Let’s see what the Red Bulls can do with the extra space.

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35th minute– Kante just got a red card for a foul on Megaloudis. It was going to happen.

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31st minute– Brooks almost has the last word with a dangerous chance, but he sends it wide.

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30th minute– A little scuff ensues as Goldthwaite had words for Palace forward Gary Brooks. Kante gets involved and shoves somebody. The ref just gave out a handful of yellows and they all looked to be given to Palace players. Kante and Brooks get yellows.

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28th minute– Sassano draws a foul. Borman’s free kick finds Magee, but his header goes high. The chances are there.

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27th minute– Carlos Mendes has looked pretty good tonight, knocking it around well.

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26th minute– Borman corner kick that Sassano heads wide. He had a good chance there.

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25th minute– The kick hits the wall and goes over and sure looked like a handball.

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24th minute– A Palace defender sends a backpass to the keeper that the keeper handles and now we have a direct kick in the box. You always love these.

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21st minute– Gilkerson just got clocked and he’s down. Larry Mark gets the yellow for the kick.

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20th minute– The crowd here did wake up on that goal. Although it got quit right away, except for one Palace fan with a drum.

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19th minute– Danleigh Borman draws a foul on the left edge of the penalty area.

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19th minute– Some bad marking on the corner and Marshall skies for a free header at the near post.

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18th minute- GOAL CRYSTAL PALACE. Andrew Marshall with the header off a corner kick.

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17th minute– Palace breaks in on goal but Goldthwaite makes a clutch tackle to set up a Palace corner kick.

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16th minute– Not much going on as Palace struggles to build much. They’ve got some quick guys up top but nobody to get them the ball. And Sergio Flores is not in the lineup for those of you wondering.

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13th minute– Mike Magee with the first decent shot. He sends a shot over the crossbar from 18.

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12th minute– The Red Bulls finally string some passes together but Magee ends it with a bad ball in to Megaloudis.

Some better stuff from the Red Bulls offense. They’re keeping it and knocking it around.

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11th minute– The game is ugly but at least it’s a nice day here. This is easily the smallest venue I’ve watched a game involving an MLS team. This place makes Rutgers’ Yurcak Field look like Old Trafford.

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9th minute– The Red Bulls are basically kicking long balls to Magee and Megaloudis, hoping to get a good bounce. Kind of tough with Ibrahim Kante there. No, he’s not that good, but he sure is big.

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7th minute– And finally, a strain of "Let’s Go Palace" can be heard from the opposite side of the field.

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6th minute– ESC is throwing streamers. The streamers are yellow. Not sure if they bought them on Ebay from Crew fans.

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6th minute– Not much soccer yet, the field is so small that players have no room to work.

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4th minute– Not sure about the Megaloudis as lone forward look. Still waiting to see Gordan Kljestan get involved. The back-line has had most of the early touches.

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2nd minute- Mike Magee is almost playing as a second forward and he’ll have the freedom to roam.

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1st minute– Palace with a cross in but no one gets there. The field is painfully narrow.

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PRE-GAME- The game is being played on turf for those of you wondering and it’s a nice clear day. The rain cloud passed and we should have perfect weather for this game.

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PRE-GAME– The Crystal Palace lineup was announced and ESC serenaded them with a chorus of "Who Are Ya?"

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PRE-GAME– The announcer is announcing the Red Bulls starters and doing so as slowly as possibly so as not to get the names wrong. Oh, and he has a British accent. You have to love that.

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PRE-GAME– As you may have heard, the Red Bulls are holding a press conference tomorrow to announce the signings of Jorge Rojas as well as Argentine defender Juan Pietrevallo. It remains to be seen which player will be cut. Rojas will take up Jozy Altidore’s roster spot. Not sure who will be moved for Pietrevallo but someone will have to be.

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PRE-GAME– A bit surprising to see John Wolyniec not get playing time. Could he be on the way out?

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PRE-GAME– Reports of this game being a sellout were greatly exaggerated. I don’t think there are 500 people here and we’re 20 minutes from kickoff. The small crowd is also going to help ESC stand out even more.

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PRE-GAME– The ESC is starting to march into the venue and they are definitely going to stand out in an otherwise quiet scene.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the Red Bulls lineup for tonight’s match:

—————————-Megaloudis—————————–

——————————-Magee——————————

Borman————-Kljestan——–Mendes———–Sassano

Gilkerson———Goldthwaite——Parke————–Leitch

——————————Thornton————————–

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PRE-GAME– Apologies for not posting yet but it has started to drizzle and the media table happens to be out in the open.

ESC is here. I haven’t seen them yet but I heard them.

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