Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati take on New York Red Bulls Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

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FC Cincinnati will face the New York Red Bulls in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 23 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

The game will stream exclusively for free on the Bleacher Report Football YouTube channel and on the B/R app.

Tuesday will mark the first meeting between the sides since the Orange and Blue defeated the Red Bulls on their home field in Round One of the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs last October.


Stream: Bleacher Report Football YouTube channel and on the B/R app (Free)
Broadcast Talent (English): Mike Watts (play-by-play), Devon Kerr (analyst)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

Wednesday’s matchup will be the 11th all-time meeting between FCC and RBNY across all competitions. The Orange and Blue are 3-4-3 against the Red Bulls.

The Orange and Blue also faced the Red Bulls in their USL era, when the Red Bulls ended the storybook run for FC Cincinnati in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Semifinals, a 3-2 extra-time win for the visitors at sold-out Nippert Stadium.

The 10 prior MLS meetings between the sides have been defensive battles. Eight of the 10 matchups have featured two combined goals or less.

The Red Bulls, who made their co-MLS-best 13th straight postseason last year, began 2023 on rough footing. After a 1-4-6 start to the season which had New York in last place in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls parted ways with Head Coach Gerhard Struber.

Struber ultimately went 33-31-23 across all competitions. His departure paved the way for Assistant Coach Troy Lesesne to take over for the rest of the season, and his early impression has been strong. The Red Bulls are unbeaten in four games under Lesesne, which began with a 1-0 win over D.C. United in the Round of 32 of the Open Cup on May 9. Since then, New York have beaten bitter rivals New York City FC, played to a scoreless draw at Toronto FC, and this past Saturday, knocked off CF Montréal.

The win over D.C. United was New York’s lone Open Cup matchup to this point, as the Red Bulls entered the competition in the Round of 32 based on their sixth-place finish in the 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings.

Three players lead the Red Bulls this season with two goals each: Cory Burke, Omir Fernandez and Andrés Reyes. John Tolkin and Cristian Cásseres Jr. remain two of New York’s key playmakers, with each player totaling 1,080 minutes in 12 games played, having not been substituted off. The duo are the only two players who have registered an assist this season for New York.

Following the Open Cup fixture, the Red Bulls, like FC Cincinnati, will head west in Matchday 15. New York head to face Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field on May 27, then must head to the opposite end of the country to face Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on May 31.

BUSY SCHEDULE AHEAD – Tuesday night continues a congested stretch for FC Cincinnati. The U.S. Open Cup fixture against the Red Bulls will mark FCC’s third of three games in less than a week, and the third of six games in an 18-day span.

And if the Orange and Blue advance past the Red Bulls into the Quarterfinals, FC Cincinnati will end up playing eight games in a 25-day span between May 17 and June 10.

QUICK TURNAROUND – Tuesday night marks the seventh time under Head Coach Pat Noonan that the Orange and Blue play a game just three days following another game.

Under Noonan, FC Cincinnati are 5-0-1 in those previous six games.

A RARE TUESDAY – FC Cincinnati’s matchup with the Red Bulls will mark just the fifth all-time game for the Orange and Blue on a Tuesday. Two of those games came last season, first in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, a 2-0 extra time win for FCC in April. The second fixture came late in the season, on September 27 at Seattle Sounders FC (1-1 draw).

FC CINCINNATI IN THE CUP – Wednesday’s Round of 32 matchup will mark the seventh U.S. Open Cup fixture for FCC since joining MLS in 2019.

In both 2019 and 2022, FC Cincinnati won their first game – in 2019 against Louisville City FC and last season against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – but fell in their second game of the competition.

Prior to this season, the 2018 FC Cincinnati squad was the last Orange and Blue squad to win their first two games in the competition, but the then-USL team entered one round earlier than it has since joining Major League Soccer. The 2018 team had their journey in the tournament end in the Round of 32, falling on penalties to Minnesota United FC.

BACK TO THE CUP – FC Cincinnati return to Open Cup competition just under two weeks after defeating New York City FC in the Round of 32, 1-0, on May 10.

That win came two weeks after knocking off Louisville City FC, 1-0, in the Third Round on April 26.

RED BULLS CUP REMATCH – Including USL, the Orange and Blue are 11-4-2 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup. Most notably, FC Cincinnati made a semifinal run in 2017, gaining national acclaim, which ended in the semifinals against the New York Red Bulls. The then-second-division Orange and Blue side advanced through six rounds before the Red Bulls ended the Cinderella run in front of a sellout crowd of 33,250 at Nippert Stadium.

OPEN CUP PEDIGREE – FC Cincinnati’s current squad has had prior success in the U.S. Open Cup. Head Coach Pat Noonan won three U.S. Open Cups in his playing career (New England Revolution, 2007; Seattle Sounders, 2010 and 2011) while Alec Kann and Brandon Vazquez were part of Atlanta United’s cup run in 2019. Vazquez scored four goals in the competition that season.