Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game) The last time the New York Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union in Open Cup play was 2010 when the Union had played just four games in club history. Why is this the year you progress against them again?
Jonathan Machlin, Once A Metro) You're trying to make me jinx them, aren't you? Well I'm not gonna bite! I will say this, Red Bull Arena is one of the most feared venues in MLS for a reason, and despite their recent struggles the Red Bulls always save their best performances for the home crowd. Any success that the team might have in the Open Cup will hinge on their reserves stepping up in a big way and proving they can be a part of this team's future.
ER) How seriously do the Red Bulls take the Open Cup? Is it something they're out to win from the outset, or is it the further they manage to get the more invested they become?
JM) You can always tell how seriously the Red Bulls take the Open Cup by whether or not they'll let Luis Robles start in goal. The fact that backup GK Ryan Meara (who I'm a big fan of, but doesn't hold a candle to Robles) has been the starter in each of our last three Open Cup matches tells me that Jesse Marsch and his right-hand man Chris Armas don't feel a need to play the best team they possibly can.
No, Marsch made two things abundantly clear before the start of this campaign: 1 - All that matters is making the playoffs and winning the MLS Cup, 2 - He plans to hightail it to Europe at the first chance he gets.
ER) How angry is the Red Bulls fanbase at the club for letting Dax McCarty go considering how well the Chicago Fire are doing compared to NYRB?
JM) I was one of the many fans who understood the club's rationale for letting him go at the time - there was a logjam at the position, several young players with bright futures in desperate need of minutes, and a belief that McCarty's best days were behind him (especially given his lackluster performance against Montreal in the playoffs).
That said, it was the disgraceful manner in which the team sold him off that rubbed nearly everyone the wrong way (a phone call the day after his wedding and the week after his first invite to USMNT camp in years? C'mon man!). Hell, the move wasn't even enjoyed by the front-office and it caused a firestorm that resulted in our sporting director Ali Curtis walking away. And the fact that the team has done little-to-nothing with the money they got from Chicago to compensate for Dax's loss has only made people furious since January.
As for Dax's current success with Chicago, the Fire improved themselves across the board with players like Juninho, Schweinsteiger and of course Nikolic, so fans aren't really too focused on the success Dax is having when it's the entire team that's getting it done.
And if he wins an MLS Cup with the Fire this year then good for him, he deserves a chance to lift the cup and maybe that'll teach the front office not to keep selling off big players still in their prime.
Injuries, suspensions, etc.: OUT - Gideon Baah, QUESTIONABLE - Mike Grella, PROBABLE - Connor Lade, Aaron Long. No suspensions or cautions.
GK Ryan Meara
DF Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin, Sal Zizzo
DM Tyler Adams, Felipe
MF Alex Muyl, Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Royer
FW Gonzalo Veron