The New York Red Bulls are in San Jose today for tonight's U.S. Open Cup play-in match vs. the Earthquakes (10:30pm). The Red Bulls will be looking to erase the memory of Sunday's awful 3-2 loss to D.C. United, while also looking to improve on their 2008 Open Cup performance, which saw the Red Bulls bounced out by USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore.
Tonight's U.S. Open Cup match won't be televised, but fear not, SBI will be providing live commentary from the match. SBI correspondent Sean Rubio will be at Buck Shaw Stadium tonight to keep you informed on all the action.
So what should we expect tonight? Don't expect to see full-strength teams. With both squads struggling in MLS play, you can bet that the Red Bulls and Earthquakes will be fielding plenty of reserves. So why should you still care about the match? Considering the struggles for both teams this season, tonight's match might help provide some insight into what reserve players may be ready to step up for bigger roles. The U.S. Open Cup might also be the best hope either team has for winning a trophy this season.
Here are some things to look for tonight:
Oduro and Wolyniec should get chances. With Juan Pablo Angel entrenched as a starter, and Mac Kandji serving as one of the few bright spots this season for New York, the fight for playing time at forward is a tough one. Oduro has gotten some chances but has done nothing with them. Wolyniec, on the other hand, has not gotten a real chance to contribute and should get the nod tonight with a chance to impress.
Cepero back in the net. Danny Cepero should get his first start in goal since suffering a concussion in the Red Bulls' tie vs. Houston. Jon Conway was solid at first, but he is coming off a shaky effort vs. D.C. United that must have Red Bulls coaches wondering if Cepero might not be the better long-term solution. A solid showing vs. San Jose could help Cepero's cause tremendously.
Petke's redemption. One of the more interesting storylines surrounding the Red Bulls has been Mike Petke's permanent residence on the bench after spending all pre-season and the season opener as a starter and projected defensive leader.
Danleigh dilemma. Khano Smith has beenthorouglyunderwhelming at left midfield this season and tonight's match could be Danleigh Borman's best chance to prove he deserves the nod. Then again, considering how well Borman did against LA last season, head coach Juan Carlos Osorio might just be ready to start him on Saturday vs. the Galaxy anyway. Either way, the Red Bulls need more from the left flank and tonight will offer us a chance to see if there's any hope for that position.
Those are just some of the things to look for tonight. What are you hoping to have happen tonight? Are you hoping Osorio uses mostly starters vs. San Jose, or do you accept that the league is more important and tonight is a chance for back-ups to show and prove?
Share your thoughts on tonight's match below (and be sure to follow tonight's match on SBI).