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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Seattle Sounders looking to extend fine run against Portland in defence of US Open Cup

The fourth round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup gets underway tonight and that means the introduction of all 17 US-based MLS sides to the competition.

There are some intriguing fixtures across the country but none bigger than the battle between Cascadia rivals and Western Conference giants, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers.

The fierce rivals play in the final game of the night on Tuesday at 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) and Seattle will be hoping to call on recent history as they kick off their campaign in defence of the competition they won for a fourth time last year.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Portland won’t have to play in front of the deafening CenturyLink audience on Tuesday night but a trip to Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila won’t necessarily mean things are any easier for Caleb Porter’s men.

The Sounders have not lost in any of the last six meetings between the two sides, including an extra-time win against the Timbers in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup last term.

They have already faced off once in MLS this year, with Seattle winning 1-0 at home to make it three in a row against their Northwest rivals.

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Portland do come into the game off the back of three straight league wins and will be confident. Porter has admitted there’s no tougher game in the competition at this stage than the one the Timbers face against their Cascadia rivals and reigning champions, but he’s staying positive.

“We got the toughest draw of anybody, but in some ways we like it because we have a chance to knock off the team that won it last year, which would mean we have a really good chance of winning it if that happens. But we certainly have the toughest game of any team.”

Key stats:

– Seattle have won the last three meetings between the two teams.

– The Sounders have not lost to Portland in their last six games in all competitions.

– Seattle boast an impressive 19-0-1 record in competitive matches at the Starfire Stadium since 2005.

Will the Seattle Sounders make it four wins in a row against the Timbers on Tuesday night?