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U.S. Open Cup match preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union

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The Union face a familiar foe in the Open Cup Round of 16

New York Red Bulls' manager Jesse Marsch reacts after being ejected during the Red Bulls' 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
New York Red Bulls' manager Jesse Marsch reacts after being ejected during the Red Bulls' 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

Game: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union

Date: Wednesday, June 28th

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)

Television: None

Streaming: U.S. Soccer Website

All-time record: The Union and Red Bulls have played one another three times in the U.S. Open Cup. The Red Bulls won the initial match in 2010, the clubs drew in 2015 (the Union advanced on penalties), and the Union won in 2016. Overall, the Red Bulls control the series, as the Union have won seven, lost thirteen, and drawn four.

What New York will look like

The Red Bulls beat New York City FC 1-0 to make it to the Round of 16. Look for the Red Bulls to start a mixed squad of regular starters and bench guys, although having Mike Grella out might force Jesse Marsch’s hand a bit.

What Philadelphia will look like

The Union beat the Harrisburg City Islanders 3-1 to make it to the Round of 16. The club has placed a high importance on winning a major trophy, and the U.S. Open Cup is just that. Look for considerably fewer fringe guys than played against Harrisburg, although there will probably be some roster churn. The Union will look to play much like they did against the Red Bulls last week, however special attention will need to be shown to set pieces. The Union must commit to allowing as few set New York set pieces as possible and defending what they do concede.

What to expect

The last time the Union played the Red Bulls in the Open Cup in Red Bull Arena was 2015, when the Red Bulls had a friendly with Chelsea immediately after. They were forced to use USL guys in their friendly because of the MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement stating there had to be a period of at least 72 hours between games and the Union (much to their credit) declined to move the Open Cup match because screw those guys. The Union were able to down the Red Bulls on penalties even they had to play down a man when Conor Casey was sent off in the 40th minute. And last year, Jesse Marsch was ejected which prompted this outburst.

U.S. Soccer

These anecdotes are simply to remind you to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen in the U.S. Open Cup. Anything can happen when these two teams play one another.