2017 US Open Cup Final Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

2017 US Open Cup Final: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Children’s Mercy Park – Wednesday, September 20 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 10/11 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 3/1

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Preview

It’s here. The 2017 US Open Cup Final will take place at Children’s Mercy Park as Sporting Kansas City take on the New York Red Bulls.

Three-time winners SKC will be looking to win their third Open Cup title in six years, while the Red Bulls are bidding to win the trophy for the first time. This is their first Open Cup final since 2003, where they lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire.

Sporting KC’s route to the final has been fairly straightforward. They kept clean sheets in their first three games, beating Minnesota, Houston and FC Dallas. Their semi-final clash at San Jose was a little more tricky, but they advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

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The Red Bulls came close to being eliminated by this year’s surprise package in the semi-final. FC Cincinnati were 2-0 up with 15 minutes to go but a late comeback, followed by a Bradley Wright-Phillips winner in extra-time earned the Red Bulls their ticket to the final.

Wins over New York City FC, Philadelphia Union and the New England Revolution preceded that semi-final victory. The Red Bulls know they are the underdogs for Wednesday night’s game. But as we all know, anything can happen in a final.

Neither side comes into the game in great form. SKC have only won two of their last five, while the Red Bulls are winless in five, having drawing four on the spin.

Their lone regular season meeting this season ended in a 2-0 win for Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park. A repeat result here would see SKC pick up their fourth US Open Cup title. Victory would also make Sporting KC the only MLS club with four major trophies since 2012. They are currently tied with Seattle on three over the past six seasons.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Team News

Peter Vermes named a strong starting lineup for the 3-1 win over New England at the weekend. Soni Mustivar and Cameron Porter are ruled out through injury. Daniel Salloi is listed as questionable with a hip injury.

New York Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch is expected to set up with five at the back as he looks to make it difficult for SKC. Ryan Meara will keep his place in goal for the final, after playing every game in the competition so far this season. Gideon Baah, Mike Grella and Daniel Royer remain injured. While former Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin is also still out with an ongoing foot problem. Marsch rested a host of first-team regulars on Sunday night, so the Red Bulls should be fresh on Wednesday.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final: Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/W/L/D/W

New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/D/D/D/D

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City have never lost a US Open Cup final, winning on all three previous trips to the main event. They won both of their last two titles on penalties.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls forward has scored three goals in four games in the US Open Cup this season. He will be tasked with trying to break down an SKC defence that has been the best in MLS this season. He proved to be the match winner in the semi-final clash with FC Cincinnati and will be looking to do the same here.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls: 2017 US Open Cup Final Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1* New York Red Bulls – Sporting Kansas City’s past two US Open Cup final wins have come on penalties. We think with this one being finely poised, a shootout may well be necessary again to determine the 2017 champion. The Red Bulls have a long-standing history of failing in knockout competitions. But they have an experienced group that should be able to get the job done. If it does go to penalties, it really is a lottery. But we think the Red Bulls would just edge it in a shootout. Expect it to be close. Expect it to be hard-fought. But most of all: Expect the unexpected.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Venue: Sporting Park – Sunday, March 8 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 3)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – New York Red Bull 5/2

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City entertain New York Red Bulls as the two sides kick off their 2015 Major League Soccer seasons in the penultimate game of the opening weekend.

These sides were separated by just one point in the final Eastern Conference standings in 2014 but it was the Red Bulls who progressed between the two sides in their playoff matchup back in October.

The Red Bulls fell to New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference semi-final, and both teams will want to make the playoffs once again in 2015.

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Sporting KC failed to win their opening two games last season and will be hoping to get off to a better start this year as they begin life in the Western Conference.

It took the Red Bulls seven games to record their first victory of the 2014 regular season, so they did well to end up in the playoffs but poor results are something new head coach Jesse Marsch will hope to put behind the team in his first competitive match.

Both these teams ended their respective seasons without a win in three games in all competitions so starting the new year with a victory would be a real boost.

Don’t miss: FIFA 15 Predicts: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Sporting KC can try to emulate the Revs playoff performance against New York by hitting them later on in the game. The Red Bulls’ inability to shut out sides eventually cost them and this is something Kansas City will hope they can exploit on Sunday night.

Home games are so important, especially in terms of advantage, so Kansas City should be feeling the more comfortable of the two sides ahead of this one.

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In the last five meetings between the sides, New York have won three, Kansas City one, and there has been one draw. But with changes to both squads over the offseason, these results are simply a thing of the past.

There have been ten goals in those last five meetings, so this is usually a high scoring matchup, but as we saw in the season opener between LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire, teams could well take time to settle into their game and neither side will want to lose any ground early on.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City could have three absentees ahead of the game. Chance Myers (achilles) and Kevin Ellis (concussion) will both miss out but their biggest concern will be for goal machine, Dom Dwyer, who has a sprained ankle. If the Englishman is out it will be a huge miss for SKC as Dwyer netted 22 league goals last season.

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New York Red Bulls’ squad is looking in good shape for the game, with no reported injuries. But of course they will be without the departed Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, so this is a huge game as we will learn how they will shape up without their superstars. The pressure is on Bradley Wright-Phillips, who ended 2014 as the top goalscorer in MLS last season with 28 and he needs to deliver the goods for his side again.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s form: N/A

New York Red Bull’s form: N/A

Key Stat: Goal Machines – Bradley Wright Phillips (28) and Dom Dwyer (22) netted an astonishing 50 goals between them last season. Both of these Englishmen will be looking to better that this year but as mentioned, if Dwyer is absent, BWP has a chance for an early advantage.

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Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The pressure on this man is huge. New York Red Bulls fans will be expecting him to step up to the mark as the leader of the side now and his new Designated Player contract means he needs to deliver.. If he can get on the scoresheet tomorrow it will be a signal of intent that he means business and can spearhead the team without the help of Henry.

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1 New York Red Bulls – Both sides will want to hit the ground running but will be out to avoid defeat so we could see a tense opener.