Despite the 1-0 loss, there is one thing that is a positive takeaway from last night’s match. Patrick Vieira said he would go for the win and he most certainly did.
As reported, Vieira told NYCFC.com in an interview that NYCFC was going to go for the win against the Red Bulls on Wednesday. When the starting XI became public knowledge, every understood how serious the Frenchman was.
With eight of eleven regular starters (can even make it nine if you include McNamara,) Vieira put forth arguably the best lineup he could have last night.
In the first half of the match, the benefits of having a nearly full lineup surfaced for the visitors. Despite being the vastly superior team, NYCFC couldn’t take their chances leaving the match at a scoreless deadlock heading into halftime.
At the start of the second half, Maxi Moralez made way for John Stertzer due to calf injury according to Vieira.
“He had a problem in his calf,” said Vieira. “That’s the reason why he came off at halftime.”
Following the Moralez substitution, the Red Bulls began controlling play, as their presence in the midfield drastically increased.
“Obviously when he came off, that’s one of the reasons we didn’t play as well as in the first half,” explained Vieira. “It was difficult for us to find the creative players in the midfield. That’s why we struggled a little bit more in our passing game.”
The Red Bulls rode the pressure throughout the second half and took their most quality chance of the half. NYCFC did hit the post twice in the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the 66th minute, Red Bulls forward Daniel Royer took his chance scored a magnificent volley that resulted in the lone goal of the match.
“I think it was a really good volley,” credited Vieira. “It was a difficult one. Managed to hit the target and he scored. We had two great chances in the second half where we hit the post. We created some situations in the first half where we made the wrong decision.”
It truly was a tale of two halves in this US Open Cup match, the first between the two sides. The difference maker in the game, however, was that the Red Bulls capitalized on their opportunities in front of goal, something Vieira continually makes a note of.
“But both teams had their half, and we didn’t score, we didn’t take our chances,” said Vieira frustratingly. “In a game like that where you don’t take your chances, you can make a small mistake; you can finish behind.”
Credit to Vieira for putting forth a formidable side. Because of this, Wednesday night’s match was an entertaining grudge match between two rivals.
The sides meet again in a little over a week for their first “Hudson River Derby” of the MLS season. Before that match though, NYCFC will look to regroup against the defending MLS champion Seattle Sounders on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.