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Red Bulls will Play Two in 24-hour Span: Cup tie with Union followed by Chelsea Friendly

Luis Robles (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - DoubleGSports)

Luis Robles (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – DoubleGSports)

There is no secret that the New York Red Bulls franchise has been moribund of hardware since its inception as a founding member of MLS then known as the New York/New Jersey Metrostars.

Although competing in MLS since the league’s first season in 1996, the Red Bulls have never won a US Open Cup, and have only one Supporters’ Shield (the league’s best point total) to show for their near 20 years of competition.

This year, the Red Bulls have a real shot at the US Open Cup.  They are one of 8 remaining teams and have a home game today against rivals Philadelphia Union.

This week however will test the squad’s depth.

The top-heavy Red Bulls’ teams of years past had no depth to contest the US Open Cup and Champions League when they bowed out playing largely backups.

This squad has just one designated player in Bradley Wright Phillips and one other ‘star’ in Sacha Kljestian, the former US international.

It seems that it has the depth to compete for the US Open Cup, and maintain a playoff spot in MLS.

The Union however, come in a confident bunch having won at Red Bull arena in a league match earlier this season.

They also have a squad that is constructed similarly to Red Bulls and have the depth, particularly veterans such as Conor Casey and former Red Bull forward Sebastian LeToux.

The Union are also on the same amount of rest as Red Bulls having played their last match Saturday, a loss to Toronto FC.

The Red Bulls will have a reinforcement coming as Roy Miller whose Costa Rican team was ousted from the Gold Cup in dubious fashion against Mexico, has returned to his club team already.

Additionally, with a rare 4:00 weekday kick, the temperatures could reach 100 degrees on field level and the Red Bulls have an important match tomorrow against Chelsea FC.

Although it is just a friendly on paper, the near sell-out crowd is an opportunity to grow the league and the Red Bulls’ brand which is very important.

So head coach Jesse Marsch must balance a very important Cup tie against Philadelphia Union with the need to be respectable against Chelsea – an unenviable task

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