The New York Red Bulls will look to move one step closer to the U.S. Open Cup when it takes on the New England Revolution tonight in an MLS Play-in Match at Red Bull Arena (8pm).
The Red Bulls routed the Philadelphia Union to reach the current round of play, and they will turn to a young squad again as head coach Hans Backe is using the tournament as a chance to give his reserves playing time. Backe has already revealed his starting lineup for tonight's match, with rookies Conor Chinn and Tony Tchani joined in the lineup by veterans John Wolyniec, Carlos Mendes and Chris Albright.
New England comes in dealing with a myriad of injuries and will actually only be bringing in 14 players for tonight's match.
If you want to watch the match live, but can't make it to Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls website will feature a live stream of the match. I will also be providing live commentary from the match as well.
For a closer look at one of the players who will feature in tonight's match, and the only player in tonight's match heading to the World Cup, here is a story by Michael Nastri on Red Bulls defender Andrew Boyens:
BOYENS EXCITED FOR WORLD CUP OPPORTUNITY
By MIKE NASTRI
On a day when players around the world eagerly await a roster spot for South Africa this summer, one New York Red Bull was already preparing himself for the world's greatest tournament.
Andrew Boyens was named to the New Zealand 23-man World Cup Roster on Monday and he is still just taking it all in.
"It's going to be the best of experiences," he said. "Everyone dreams since they were little to be apart of the World Cup."
Boyens now must get to work. He lost his starting spot this year to Tim Ream and his only game action was in NYRB's Open Cup play-in game against Philadelphia.
Boyens has been putting in extra work with the Red Bulls coaching staff after practice to help get into form. But there is nothing like a real match to ready himself for the World Cup. That chance to sharpen his game comes tomorrow as he'll start against the New England Revolution in tonight's U.S. Open Cup play-in match.
The 6'4" centerback has seen some time for his country in the past, starting against Spain in the Confederations Cup last summer. With a lack of time with the Red Bulls so far, Boyens is eager to earn his time with the All Whites in camp before the tournament starts.
"I feel like my form is good at the moment and I am just looking forward to getting to training camp and being a part of the team."
Boyens will mark some of the best strikers in the world should he gain playing time for New Zealand. The All Whites have a tough task to advance playing two very good European squads in Italy and Slovakia as well as Paraguayan team that looked solid in qualifying. However, Boyens and New Zealand will not be willing to back down.
"Our target has to be to advance out of the group stage, said Boyens. "We have to go there and try to perform and that's what we'll do."