2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League qualifier New York Red Bulls will face the host New York Cosmos in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on June 14, 2014. (Photo: Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- If he has any pressure entering Saturday night's Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup clash with the New York Cosmos, then New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke isn't feeling it.
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said that the Red Bulls, coming from the first division Major League Soccer, would face more pressure than his team, which has nothing to lose. The Cosmos play in the second tier North American Soccer League.
Petke said "as far as pressure goes, playing the New York Cosmos, I don't have or feel any pressure at all."
"Listen, I don't feel any pressure at this point, whatsoever," he said earlier this week. "I would agree with him that the Cosmos have nothing to lose at all.
"This is a game that we want to win, just like the Cosmos do, just like any team you're playing. Both teams want to win. The lineup that I put out, I'm going to put out is a team that I'm confident in. I have almost 30 players on my roster and they're on my roster for a reason."
Petke felt the Cosmos will be out to prove something.
"The one thing that I would say since 1998 when I played for the first time in the U.S Open Cup against minor leagues, so called minor league teams, it's always their World Cup final," he said. "It's always hit or miss. The players I've played with were up for it. I'm going to make sure that my guys are up for it. But obviously this is a huge, huge thing for the Cosmos and the NASL.”
So the Red Bulls aren't doing anything special for the game. They have scouted the Cosmos, not once, but twice -- not because it is a derby, but because the team's home stadium was co close.
"We have scouted this game the exact same way we have scouted our opponents in MLS," Petke said, "having someone go live to a game. Well, in this case we had someone go to a couple of games because it’s a close proximity but we’re not scouting this game any more and certainly not any less than we would scout New England or Toronto or whoever we’re going play.”
This will be the first of two competitions outside of Major League Soccer play that the Red Bulls will contest this year. They also will participate in the group stage of the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League.
Liga de Campeones