While it may not count towards the MLS standings, plenty will be on the line on Wednesday when the New York Red Bulls and NYCFC meet at Red Bull Arena. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal matchup will serve as the crosstown rivals first time facing one another this year.
Both teams are sitting near the top of the table in the MLS Eastern Conference and the New York rivals have yet to win a U.S. Open Cup Crown. NYCFC and the Red Bulls also enter the 8 p.m. showdown in Harrison, New Jersey having lost very few games over the past few months.
NYCFC has not lost a game since the beginning of April and the Red Bulls’ last loss in any type of competition hasn’t been since mid-April. The two sides have only met twice in the U.S. Open Cup tournament and both matches have gone in the Red Bulls’ favor.
“I have played big games like this back in Poland and I know I understand that I have to be very very focused for games like this,” Red Bulls midfielder Luquinhas told Front Row Soccer about the rivalry matchup. “We understand how much this game means to everyone, so we as a team are focusing a lot and we’re hoping to become a winner this week.”
To date, neither side has won an Open Cup title, with a quarterfinals appearance in 2019 marking NYCFC’s best finish. The Red Bulls have reached the final twice.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the country’s oldest soccer tournament that allows teams in U.S. Soccer sanctioned leagues to compete for a chance to earn a bid into the CONCACAF Champions League. Of the eight teams remaining in the tournament this year, six of them are MLS clubs, which includes both New York teams.