New York Red Bulls: Open Cup loss is brutal but gives new perspective

New York Red Bulls. Bradley Wright-Phillips (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls. Bradley Wright-Phillips (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Red Bulls somewhat shockingly lost to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night’s Open Cup match. The loss stings but opens up a whole new perspective.

The New York Red Bulls were outplayed and even arguably did not even exist in a 2-1 loss to the Union in Chester in the latest round of the US Open Cup tournament. 

Of course, the Red Bulls are a great team and looked poised to finally make a run in a Cup championship but instead, they broke out hearts once again.

The loss is bad. It even feels typical. However, it sparks a whole new perspective on the season.

This is a club that we all thought could win on any given night. In any given city. Even in any given tournament.

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They had an admirable run through the CONCACAF Champions League, they are rolling in MLS play right now and even stunned NYCFC again in the Open Cup’s previous round.

So, it became fair to think that they had a legit chance to finally win a Cup championship. Well, there MLS team at least.

Now, because of this loss, it easy to see where the Red Bulls’ real focus should be and quite frankly where they stand a chance. That is in Major League Soccer.

It’s not that most clubs do not care about the Open Cup, it is just easy to tell that some of them do not take it as seriously as the MLS Cup.

That is pretty obvious and they shouldn’t. I said in my column before that the Red Bulls do not have any excuses left and they really do not.

It is just that the Red Bulls do play a lot and they have in the recent weeks. Throughout the busy stretch, they heavily focused on their MLS matches.

That is the right thing and what they need to keep doing. I no longer care about how well they do in other matches which they are pretty much done with anyway.

The new perspective is that the Red Bulls need to just keep an eye on the prize and go for the MLS Cup. No, losing the match in the Open to Cup to Philly is not a good thing, it just gives the silver lining that the Open Cup is over and the Red Bulls can rest and focus.

The Red Bulls no longer can say they played well in all competitions this season. The loss in Chester sort of negates that.

But, they can still say they beat Atlanta United on the road. Scored an away goal in Columbus. They destroyed Portland at home. Went into Stub Hub and beat the Galaxy.

They still proved they can go on the road and win. They can go on the road and battle in MLS matches.

That is something they must do to get through the MLS playoffs. Sure, the Open Cup saw them lose to an MLS team but its the same one that had a draw within their MLS match.

That is what the Red Bulls need to stick with and need to rely on. They are good on their MLS match week.

New York’s red side does not even need to win the shield or score the most goals. The only thing they have to do is keep this narrative alive.

With their coach and star player Tyler Adams in rumors to be elsewhere in the Red Bulls family next year in Europe, this their year to get it done.

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The perspective is not new, but at least fresh. Focus on MLS play. Stay great on the road in league play, and finally get that MLS Cup. That should be the only focus. They are showing they can bring it home this year too.