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Red Bulls Pound Rapids to Advance in Open Cup

IrvingGarcia (HowardCSmithISI)

Photo by Howard C. Smith/


The Red Bull "reserves" did it again.

NYRB's other squad dismantled the Colorado Rapids regulars 3-0 behind a brace by John Wolyniec and a goal by Conor Chinn. 

The Red Bulls were dominating as they stifled a potent Rapids attack and showed great creativity in the attacking third. Irving Garcia built on a solid debut start on Sunday against Juventus. Garcia would set up the first goal on a hard cross to Wolyniec who just got a touch past Colorado keeper Ian Joyce for the 1-0 lead.

"I was about to take a shot," said Garcia. "Then I saw someone coming in, I thought it was Conor. But, I just tried to play that ball and it was a good goal."

The rest of the midfield was dominant throughout the match. Tony Tchani and Sinisa Ubiparipovic controlled the center of the pitch for NYRB dominating a normally strong Rapids midfield. Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, and Mehdi Ballouchy could not string more than a couple of passes together before one of the NYRB midfielders stuck a foot in. 

"They [the midfield] did a fantastic job in there winnng balls, starting the attack," said defender Luke Sassano. "You know, and we expect that from them, they're top players."

The wins in midfield led to quick counters and its how the second goal was scored. After the ball was won in midfield, Tchani made a steaking run down the right wing beating two Rapids defenders before slotting the ball to John Wolyniec. The Fordham grad blasted a one timer for the 2-0 lead.

"He's strong [Tony Tchani], drives the ball and it was an excellent setup for John Wolyniec," said head coach Hans Backe.

A midfield tackle was the catalyst for the second goal as well. Ubiparipovic stole the ball in the Rapids half, beat a defender and slipped a ball to a streaking Conor Chinn. The ball glanced off Rapids defender Drew Moor and fell to Chinn, who ripped the ball home for the 3-0 lead.

Chinn's goal might have been enough to earn some serious minutes on Saturday's match against New England with Mac Kandji still out and Ibrahim Salou recovering from injury.

"I'm not sure if he will start the game, he will definitely be on the bench that's for sure," said Backe.

That Chinn goal might not only have earned him time, but put away Colorado for good. The Rapids had a couple of chances at the start of the second half but a 3-0 deficit was too much to overcome. Their let down after the third goal was very similar to the letdown early in the first half. After a couple of missed opportunities, the Rapids looked fatigued and uninspired and let NYRB take advantage.

"Wells Thompson had a fabulous chance before anybody finds their seat in the stadium, but fails to hit the target," said Rapids coach Gary Smith. "There were some important moments and if you don't take advantage of them, they're not going to come around every minute or two. They're hard to work for, tough to create, and in the end, it means that some of the guys start to feel, literally, the heat because they're not coming back in the game."

New York put the Rapids away early, and from then on it was a clinic of passing, defense, and finishing.

"New York came in with a good game plan, they came in and sat deep, absorbed some pressure and broke well," said Rapids defender Drew Moor. "We didn't do the little things right tonight to win this game."

"Give them credit, they did well to put them away, but we had to do a better job with limiting the opportunities they had."

The Red Bulls "reserve" team once again made a huge push for playing time in a regular season match. Irving Garcia was explosive in the midfield, taking on defenders and creating a nuisance of himself. Ubiparipovic and Tchani were strong and dominating in the midfield and kept possession well. Chinn and Wolyniec finished their chances in clinical fashion.

"I'm rather pleased with the performance today," said Backe. "We controlled all of the 90 minutes today and were great with possession. We got our goals and created a good amount of chances."

It might just take one more poor performance by the first team on Saturday against the Revolutions to open the door for many of these reserves to see some serious time. And this other team is certainly ready for that opportunity.

"Any chance you have an opportunity is a chance to show what you can do and trying to get on the first team," said John Wolyniec. "And if not, at least be able to push the guys ahead of you and make sure they are staying sharp and know that there are options out there so they got to keep working."


  1. Hell there were more fans at RBA tonight for a USOC match then there usually are for a CRapids MLS home game…

  2. Backe had to us the reserves. Not only to get them minutes but because the heavy gaming schedule for them between MLS, USOC and friendlies.

  3. What else should a forward do? He freakin got the last goal off the side of his foot into the back of the net, with the goalkeeper on diving at him. You should go back to your old ways and become a fan again 🙂 As for Garcia, He is awsome!

  4. ………..Angel….Nielson………..

    This is what I want to see, not enough bit in the Midfield but would be great offensively

  5. You know what? You are absolutely correct! Half-Wit isn’t anywhere near as offensive as the lesser used but more power packed half wit.
    Perhaps there is no need for a fight after all.

  6. No clue on the actual number – Red Bull Arena was empty compared to most games but had a great atmosphere coming from the full supporters section and the few midfield sections where most of the seats were filled – there were even a few Colorado fans in attendance to heckle!

    I can see how the game wouldn’t have the broad appeal to non-Red Bulls and Rapids fans, a lot like how watching Kyle Beckerman and Jay Heaps at last year’s Gold Cup would have been a real bore for non-USA fans (and probably some avid ones as well). Personally, I absolutely have loved watching the open cup play-in games because of the effort put into them by guys trying to earn more regular time and protecting their roster spots with DP signings in the near future.

    Keep in mind, there are plenty of regular season games in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and even foreign soccer leagues that aren’t worth watching with the 1st team lineups, so I wouldn’t be too critical of using developing and reserve players in the open cup match.

    Lastly, the large # of games the Red Bulls have scheduled in May/early June will definitely lead to lots of combinations of players getting lots of PT in different matchups.

  7. Well ferris, I stand corrected on the interest level. What was the attendance? And thanks for the reasonable response.

    For me, if the mls clubs are using “reserves” then it is a rare game that I will watch. I make no statements about the quality of these players but there is a lot of first team soccer to watch so for me, and I suspect a lot of others, this kind of match is not very compelling. And like the carling cup in England, if a team is not using its first team, then it is of lesser importance to them. That was my point that I guess was poorly made above.

    Kind regards

  8. I remember reading Toronto was interested in grandpa wolyniec and its more likely a reserve defender like Mendes will be sent on his way than a young prospect.

  9. He had a nice goal but also a couple of blown chances – then again with Marvell Wynne closing down on you I could see how anyone could suffer from footsteps syndrome. Also didn’t seem to show up until the 2nd half.

  10. Was at the game – have seen smaller crowds for other MLS clubs regular season matches and those who were there were into it. This “reserve” team that is littered with players who get regular minutes in the top 11 has handled Philly, New England, and Colorado’s 1st teams. I thought it was one of the better games I’d seen so far this season.

  11. I started out a big Chinn fan but last night I kinda switched off. Nice skill on the goal. But he doesn’t do a lot else.

    Garcia, on the other hand. . . .

  12. sorry, you are wrong. he didn’t say “half wit,” but “half-wit.” There IS a difference, you know.


  13. I want to see Woly get some first team action. He must know he is on the chopping block with Henry coming in, but he keeps scoring goals. What more can you ask?

    Also this great reserve team will have two players picked off it in the expansion draft…one of the downsides of being so deep is you can’t protect everyone.

  14. And after New York signs two more DP’s they’ll be sending some of those young guns to other teams where they get the playing time they need to really improve.

  15. I’m with you man. I love the USOC games this year, only ultra fans there. And ESC is all bringing it. I owe alot to them for all they’ve done over the 9 years i’ve had my tix.

  16. Let’s see. The first team is on a losing streak. The second team is on a winning streak. Maybe they should switch them.

  17. Baby Bulls or not… U.S. Open Cup matches have proven to be far more entertaining than League matches. You can see the desire in the reserves’ eyes and play. They are a totally different team, it’s really impressive… and last night’s crowd got into it. You could see across the stands, nothing but real fans. Didn’t see any of those tour buses full of kid’s with Moms in trail that know nothing about the sport. I’d take last night’s crowd + ESC’s passion any night.

  18. I’m starting to become an outside fan of Chinn’s – great movement and technique for someone as young and in his first year. Hope to see big things from him in the second half of the season!

  19. that same someone also has Miller at CB and Hall at LB , he’s clearly nuts so i’ll go back to Bouna .
    Then a Thin Midfield with little defensive cover. we would attack ok but be ran over on defense with his line up .

  20. …………Angel…..Chinn…………..


  21. The Baby Bulls have been a treat to watch in these Open Cup matches. Garcia, Tchani, and Chinn have all made a great case to be on the first team.

    Dane was being Dane when he got subbed in tonight, and I really wish they wouldn’t play him up top. Or at all, if possible. Is Nielsen available for the Revs match?

  22. ….Angel…..Woly….
    Nielsen Ubi Garcia
    Tchani Lindpere
    Miller Petke Ream Albright

    Now, that’s a better lineup

    With Henry coming you know what to do

    Richards, Stamler and other from the bench as needed

  23. One other note, half-wit. “Not caring” to most people means that the game is not as important as many other games. Get that? Still thinking about it? Work a little harder.

  24. Gee John, thanks for the moron remark. Rough day for you? Feel better?

    Remark stands since I DID think before I wrote (not spoke), and you know what…that is a really tough game for even a fan to be interested in.

  25. the starting eleven should be…





    based on recent preformances, this squad should fair very well against any opponet..Dane of the bench could be a huge spark with that kind of speed

  26. it’s got nothing to do with “not caring” you moron. simply put, the bench players need minutes and backe stated he would play all these guys to get them minutes. think before you speak.

  27. Start Ubi and Tchani with Lindpere on the left wing and Garcia on the right, our Midfield would be alot more attack minded and fluid going forward. Robo and Lindpere in the middle are useless controlling the game and going forward. Tchani and Ubi string better passes together and creates more opportunities for the strikers.

  28. Red bulls have great depth but soon those young bulls will need to get MLS games, this will push the weaker starters like stammler and richards. This should be a telling season for them.

  29. Wow, I’m not a Eurosnob but a Red Bulls v. Rapids Tourney game that NY doesn’t care enough about to field a first team and STILL wins….only the players’ mothers could have cared much about this on Roster day.


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