The New York Red Bulls begin their quest for the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup when they host FC New York in a third round match on Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET at Red Bull Arena. Who the heck is FC New York, and what is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup?
Well, those are both good questions. Let's try to answer them.
FC New York is in its inaugural season in the USL Pro League, where it currently sits in fourth place in the National Division with a record of 3-5-5, 14 points. The USL would be considered the lowest rung of American professional soccer.
What is the U.S. Open Cup, and how did the Red Bulls end up in a tournament with FC New York? Well, this explanation comes from the Red Bulls weekly press release:
The Red Bulls qualified for the third round of the 2011 U.S. Open Cup by virtue of their first place finish in the Eastern Conference in the 2010 Major League Soccer regular season. New York is undefeated (3-0-0) in Open Cup play at Red Bull Arena, last year defeating the Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, and Colorado Rapids in Harrison.
Created in 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer competition in the United States. The single-elimination tournament, which is similar to the prestigious English FA Cup, is open to all amateur and professional teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation (U.S.S.F). The competition was re-named the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1999, in honor of the late Columbus Crew and FC Dallas owner-operator Lamar Hunt. New York began its participation in the Cup in 1997 and reached the final in 2003.
The game will not be televised. If you want to watch you can check out the live stream at newyorkredbulls.com.
Dax McCarty, acquired Monday in a trade for Dwayne De Rosario, will not be available for selection Tuesday for the Red Bulls. He is expected to be available Saturday when New York returns to MLS play in San Jose against the against the Earthquakes. Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo will return to the lineup, however, after spending the last three weeks in international play during the CONCACEF Gold Cup, which was won by Mexico.
Rafa Marquez, who pulled a hamstring while playing for Mexico in the Gold Cup final, will not be available for selection Tuesday for the Red Bulls. He has also been ruled out of Saturday's match against San Jose.