Before a crowd of 1,654 at Broadneck High School last night the Crystal Palace Football Club pulled off the biggest upset so far this year in the US Open Cup beating the New York Red Bulls 2-0.
This is probally the biggest win in Crystal Palace FC history but it was not a surprise to me. Last week I had told Co-Manager Jim Cherneski that the New York Red Bulls were their’s for the taking. Out of all the MLS teams that Crystal Palace FC could have faced in the third round of the US Open Cup I felt that Crystal Palace FC matched up the best with the Red Bulls.
Crystal Palace FC started the scoring early when Andrew Marshall netted a header on a beautiful corner kick by Bryan Harkin. New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Zach Thornton (Loyola) never had a chance to save the shot by Marshall. The goal put the Crystal Palace FC side up 1-0.
The New York Red Bulls had a great opportunity to even the score at 1 all minutes later. Crystal Palace goalkeeper Matt Nelson made a big mistake when he handled a back pass giving the Red Bulls a free kick inside of the box. But a well placed wall by the Crystal Palace defense stopped the shot by Red Bulls Mike Magee.
Again the yellow cards almost cost the Crystal Palace side the game when in the 34th minute Crystal Palace’s Ibrahim Kante received his 2nd yellow, which gave him a red card and forced the Crystal Palace side to play a man downuntil the 92nd minute when Red Bulls Mike Magee also received his 2nd yellow card.
This has been the achilles heal to the Crystal Palace side all year. The team receives way to many yellow cards forcing players to miss games far too often. Sooner or later this will catch up to them and cost them in a big game.
Anyway, in the 2nd half Crystal Palace had a great chance to go up 2-0 on the Red Bulls; but Matthew Mbuta’s shot hit the goalpost. Minutes later, in the 75th minute Crystal Palace finally sealed the Red Bulls fate when Gary Brooks scored on a cross from Paul Robson. Brooks goal made the final score 2-0.
Not only did Crystal Palace pull the upset of beating a MLS team, but they dominated the game from start to finish. The Red Bulls only once came close to a scoring chance. Crystal Palace goalkeeper Matt Nelson finished the game with no saves.
Co-Managers Pete Medd and Jim Cherneski should be proud that their team is the only USL2 team still in the US Open Cup. But with the win the Crystal Palace FC will now advance to a quaterfinal matchup with MLS powerhouse the New England Revolution. The quaterfinal match will be on Tuesday, July 8th at New Britian, Connecticut.
The New England Revolution is one of the elite teams of the MLS. As of today they are in 1st place in the Eastern Standings with a 9-4-3 record. The Revolution have the best record in the MLS.
We all hope for the best for Crystal Palace FC in their match with the Revolution. A win there will definitely be a major upset!!