May 29, 2012
THE DOOR IS VERY MUCH OPEN
Red Bulls rout Battery, 3-0, in Open Cup, to visit Harrisburg in 4th round
DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – On a night in which seven Major League Soccer teams went down in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup, a side that has perennially underachieved and disappointed racked up a big victory.
|Connor Lade tallied his first goal as a Red Bull in the 3-0 Open Cup win over the Charleston Battery.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Riding goals by Kenny Cooper, Heath Pearce and Connor Lade, the Red Bulls registered a 3-0 triumph over the Charleston Battery in the third round at Blackbaud Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Red Bulls, who were eliminated by Charleston in the competition twice before (2001, 2004) advanced to the fourth round as they will visit the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
"It was good to get off to a good start," Cooper said. "It was a good night for us."
The same, however, could not be said about other MLS teams that failed to survive the Tuesday night onslaught by lower-tier teams in the competition. The losing MLS clubs included the Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake.
With so many potential rivals out of the way, the Red Bulls have their sights set on the crown, not just winning the next round.
"We set out as a goal to win this thing and we won't be happy unless we do so," Lade said.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe agreed. "I hope so," he said. "We have 17 players and the goalies. I don't know if Thierry [Henry, hamstring problems] will be back. We'll have to wait and see. If we win that one, then I think we have a chance."
The Battery came out flying. The hosts tried to challenge New York’s defense in the opening minute as Tony Donatelli ripped a long-range effort that was held by goalkeeper Ryan Meara. Twelve minutes later, Colin Falvey got on the end of a Jose Cuevas free kick at the back post and headed it into Meara’s arms.
"Going down to a team like this would give them new life," Backe said. "It would be very difficult."
"You've got to be really organized, stay as a unit," Lade said. "We knew our chances were going to come."
The first real one came in the 14th minute through Cooper, their leading scorer. Mehdi Ballouchy passed the ball into the penalty area to Cooper, who brushed off his defender before turning and ripping a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The Red Bulls looked to double their advantage after as Jan Gunnar Solli’s deflected shot was held by goalkeeper Brock Duckworth and Jhonny Arteaga’s blast zipped past the right post. On the other end, another Cuevas free kick fell dangerously towards the back post and eluded the players in the penalty area. Colin Falvey knocked on the door again, forcing Meara to tip over his header off a corner kick in the 33rd minute.
New York made the score 2-0 with four minutes left in the half. Ballouchy sent a corner kick to the top of the box back to Dax McCarty, who chipped it towards the left post. Pearce volleyed it home for his first goal as a Red Bull.
Battery forward Sallieu Bundu had two chances to cut Charleston’s deficit to one, but both of his attempts were saved by Meara. On the other end, Ballouchy tried to make it 3-0, ripping it on frame and forcing a block by Duckworth.
Lade wrapped up the result for the Red Bulls with 20 minutes remaining with a spectacular effort. The rookie was fed the ball by Solli and from 27 yards, curled it into the top right corner of the net.
"That's probably one of my better goals," Lade said. "I haven't scored too many goals in my life. It felt good."
"Phenomenal goal," Backe said. "He should be a player for the future."
Veteran central defender Wilman Conde, who has sidelined with groin problems, started, played the entire 90 minutes and was a force on defense.
"Different class. Phenomental," Backe said. "It's a massive center back. Fingers crossed he stays healthy."
NY: Kenny Cooper 1 (Mehdi Ballouchy 1) 14’
NY: Heath Pearce 1 (Dax McCarty 1, Mehdi Ballouchy2) 41’
NY: Connor Lade 1 (Jan Gunnar Solli 1) 70’
CHAR: Amadou Sanyang (caution) 65’
New York Red Bulls – Ryan Meara (GK), Brandon Barklage (Jonathan Borrajo 77’), Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde, Heath Pearce, Jan Gunnar Solli (Victor Palsson 74’), Dax McCarty (Ryan Maduro 88’), Mehdi Ballouchy, Connor Lade, Jhonny Arteaga, Kenny Cooper
Substitutes Not Used: Jeremy Vuolo, Tyler Ruthven, Stephen Keel
Charleston Battery – Brock Duckworth, John Wilson, Colin Falvey, Taylor Mueller (Dane Kelly 67’), Kyle Hoffer, Amadou Sanyang, Tony Donatelli (Ryan Richter 71’), Jose Cuevas, Nicki Paterson (Zach Prince 81’), Navion Boyd, Sallieu Bundu
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Wichmann, Cody Ellison, Sean Flatley, J.C. Mack.