Red Bulls blasted by D.C. United in Open Cup qualifier


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Juan Carlos Osorio wasn't mincing words when he spoke to reporters outside of the New York Red Bulls locker room after his team crashed and burned out of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night.

"There was a big test for some of the guys and, if I am honest, some of them failed today," Osorio said after a 5-3 loss to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. "In the first half we were horrible. It's probably the  worst game I coached here with the Red Bulls."

The Red Bulls conceded four goals in the opening 26 minutes and looked like a hungover pub team defensively.

"It seemed like we were playing  a scrimmage game, no tackles, not competing for 50/50 balls," Osorio fumed. "That is unacceptable."

Chris Pontius, Thabiso Khumalo, Brandon Barklage and Fred struck to give the hosts a commanding 4-0 lead before John Wolyniec closed out the half with a goal one minute from halftime.

Inside the Red Bulls locker room, Osorio laced into his team for an embarassing performance.

"I want to apologize to the fans, especially the fans who came here and had to suffer by coming here," Osorio said. "I do apologize because we lacked character, we lacked passion and we lacked heart."

Fielding an entirely different starting XI Wednesday than the one that stepped on the field against Houston on Saturday, Osorio was using this game as an audition for players like Khano Smith, Andrew Boyens and Juan Pietravallo. All three were subbed off at halftime.

"As I told the guys at halftime, they do need to do the talking on the field and you all see the same game I watched," Osorio said. "It's not like they haven't played in a week or so. We play football every day, they play their positions every day. Today was a good chance for many of them to impress and they certainly didn't impress me."

The effort in the second half was much better. Jorge Rojas came on and scored two goals and the Red Bulls had several chances to possibly even tie the game. While he was still seething from the first half, Osorio did praise the play of Nick Zimmerman, who made his first team debut, and Wolyniec again was impressive.

But the Red Bulls were unable to bounce back from a brutal start and were bounced out of the Open Cup.

"Everyone came out flat," Carlos Mendes said. "We were sleeping and before we knew it, we were down 3-0. All over the field we were second best…The second half was better, but the first half was brutal. It was terrible."

What do you make of this defeat? Is it time for the Red Bulls to start making roster changes? Were you one of the fans who made the trip to RFK just to watch a shellacking from the upper deck? Share your thoughts below.

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43 Responses to Red Bulls blasted by D.C. United in Open Cup qualifier

  1. clint dempsey says:

    the first 30 minutes was shocking.standing, poor marking, waiting on the ball. pitravalo-however u spell it- looked like he was trying out for the redskins- horrible

  2. DC Josh says:

    More importantly, who does DC United play in the next round of the US Open Cup?

  3. John says:

    utter disgrace

  4. Dexter says:

    bring in dilly duka!

  5. JoeW says:

    It’s coach-speak to blame it on effort and desire. Coaches always talk about that because you want players to believe that if they just run harder, tackler harder, compete more than they can win.

    RBNY was hosed at the beginning of this match for two reasons:
    –they tried to play a very high line with an offside trap. Soehn mentioned that in his post-game tactics. Ives mentioned how easily DCU was beating the trap. Pontius and Gomez have the vision and first-team edge to be able to time balls to exploit that. Fred, N’Silu and especially Khumalo have the quickness to make runs off the ball to beat that trap.
    –not starting Rojas (just unbelievably dumb). So the Red Bulls had no-one who could create on the field. I guess JCO was saving Rojas for the match against Chicago and the match that follows that (where he’ll get tired sitting in the stands being as he’s suspended!).

    Second half, Gomez and Pontius come off, Rojas comes on. DCU stops exploiting the trap, RBNY starts getting possession and service. Different game.

    JCO–go look in the mirror.

  6. Danny says:

    There goes our chance at some silverware this season…I thought we were going to put up a fight against DC, but looks like the guys didn’t show up…

    Hopefully this game shows Osorio never to play Boyens again…Like Kenny Arena, Tim Regan, and Taylor Graham, I think his the worst defender to ever play for the club

  7. Dannyc58 says:

    Just shut up already JCO. Talk is cheap. Yout put a sh*t lineup out there, this is going to happen.

    DO SOMETHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING. Like cut Khano Smith–that will make people talk your words seriously.

  8. Matt Mathai says:

    I was also confused by JCO’s decision not to start Rojas, esp. since he’s not needed for a couple of upcoming league games.

    Maybe he’s carrying an injury? Or was the plan just to give the second team a runout?

  9. vasco says:

    it was surprising to see DC up at the half 4-1. the team looked like they didn’t want to be there.

    SO maybe not getting a paycheck will help wakeup some of them

  10. steve-o says:

    DC Fan here. I’d like to give props to the RB fans who drove down for an Open Cup match on a Wed. night. I raised my beer to you all. Fans like you and us, keep this game of ours great!!

  11. johnny fc says:

    whoa a dc fan toasting new york fans, next time you come to jersey ill raise my glass to you

  12. tres says:

    Hopefully this game shows Osorio never to play Boyens again…Like Kenny Arena, Tim Regan, and Taylor Graham, I think his the worst defender to ever play for the club

    Sorry, man, you only get one “worst.”

  13. cb says:

    i agree, JCO is not being sincere. starting the B team without the suspended rojas was komikaze bad coaching. maybe the “mad professor” will get mad enough at the horrible performances by boyens, pietravallo, and smith and dump them for fresh blood in the next transfer window this summer. (i know, i’m dreaming.) he picked all three and they stink.

  14. Allegre says:

    I think that if he doesn’t “dump” some of the dead wood he will soon be among the “dumped” people. We’ll have carried Pietravallo for about a year soon. That should be enough to get a thorough evaluation of a player. I hope that it will not take a year for him to realize that Khano Smith is not our answer either.

  15. jtd says:

    although it left a sour taste in my mouth at the time, that osario defection to rbny looks sweeter and sweeter every day. in fact, at htis point it’s downright fantastic.

    seriously, when your team is not winning games and you’ve been given free reign in bringing in his own players and your team STILL hasn’t done’ anything yet (3 game winning streaks don’t count)… why hasn’t he been let go? why isn’t he taking responsibility?

  16. gmonsoon43 says:

    Great to see Chris Pontius playing well. If he keeps it up he might very well be in the January camp for the USMNT.

  17. Alex says:

    JCO was a strong believer that he has a well balanced teams with an equal back up at each position, i hope now he knows.

    My biggest question is why the hell Mbuta did not get a shot??? Sriously from the very little of him that we saw this kid looks like alot of potential and hard work. I would love to see him get more minutes.
    Smith, Oduro, Boyens…all are dead meat and gotta go asap, definitely lacking skill for MLS level.

  18. JoeW says:

    By the way, I have to second Steve-O’s comment at RBNY fans. You folks have had a shiite product to root for–it’s not just the W-L, but it’s more about a stadium experience, stadium staff and organizational ineptitude that would challenge the love of the game of anyone. We (MLS fans) tend to get caught up in rooting for our own teams and use every opportunity to poke fun at opposing fans (me included at times). So it’s easy to lose sight that we’re all in this together–that when the “quality of the product” goes up, when the teams get better, when the fan experience improves that benefits the entire league. I really admire the TFC vans who came to DC, marched with DCU fans about the stadium and even brought their own sign for those purposes. The RBNY fans were focal, were absolutely heard, added some atmosphere and y’all made a serious statement by showing up–kudos to all of you.

  19. Haig says:

    What’s the deal with contracts this year, Ives? It’s my understanding that the guaranteed date was phased out, and that all contracts are guaranteed from the start, but two players can be cut and their contracts torn up. (SMITH AND PIETROVALLO PLEASE.)

    Did I dream that, or is it like last year?

  20. socrates says:

    Unrelated, but both Adu and Altidore claim on their Twitter accounts that they’ve been called in for Nats.


    That is, if the accounts are legit. They seem real, but never can tell with Twitter.

  21. Charlie says:

    oh to be a red bulls fan.

  22. Braden says:

    “why hasn’t he been let go? why isn’t he taking responsibility?”

    Because the front office fires coaches like a drunken sailor hands out dollar bills at a titty bar during shore leave. If JCO were one of the best coaches in MLS (Bradley) he’d be out the door already, but during our slumps we like to prolong the agony until the last possible moment.

    Can you tell I’m not a fan?

  23. Michael F. - SBI Mafia Original says:

    We have no depth on the roster. Nor do we have 11 worthy starters. It’s about the players.

  24. TCompton says:

    I missed the game last night, but from reading all the reports it sounds like both teams forgot about Defense, and the Red Bulls didn’t get their attack started until Rojas came in and the team adjusted to a 3-5-2.

    This makes me think of two things with respect to Osorio:

    1) Osorio’s strength is in tactics.
    2) Osorio’s weakness is in personnel management.

    If he’s given a good team to work with, he’ll help them win. If he’s got a bad team, he’s like a fish out of water.

  25. JoeW says:

    Haig, I could be wrong on this but my understanding is that the contracts mostly are individual (ie: some have guaranteed contracts from day 1) and that the league says anyone on your initial roster counts for the entire cap hit once you reach the half-way point (some day in July).

    RBNY could cut anyone it wants, the question would be the cap hit. I would assume that Khano Smith is NOT guaranteed money but Pietravallo is.

  26. Modibo says:

    Two out of three of the players subbed at halftime were NOT Latino!

    Coincidence?!? I don’t think so.

    Seriously, I have to agree with jtd. For anyone who still wants to argue that JCO built the current Fire team, I would say that one of his picks (Conde) worked out well. The other notorious pick – Lider Marmol – was a bust like so many of Osorio’s other selections. His performance in NJ shows that he can pull some great performances out of his a** (the MLS Cup run) but his constant tinkering is detrimental.

    I mean, an entirely different squad? And you wonder what the f*** is wrong? I don’t know how Osorio’s communication with his players is, but that kind of switching has got to be bad for communication on the field. Instead, he blames the players. I feel for the RBNY fans now. I really do.

  27. Bahns says:

    Maybe facing an undefeated and far superior Chicago side in a few days time is just the tonic JCO is looking for…. to help him get his ass kicked out the door!

  28. A.S. says:

    Pietravallo = $200,000 / year. Second highest salary on the team (after JPA). Good job in that signing!

  29. Mikemike says:

    Not putting even a single starter out is dumbfounding. I have never been in the fire osario bandwagon, I still don’t think I am just yet, but putting that team out there is embarassing.

    Should have played Kanji, Rojas, and Goldwaite for the first 45 minutes and sub them out at the half either way.

    In my mind, losing this game was entirely a coaching error. I mean after Osario’s comments about being pumped for payback, he puts out this team?

  30. AndyinSeattle says:

    Why does DC United seem like a USOC team that also competes in MLS?

  31. Bootsy says:

    Andy: up until last year, many hardcore DCU fans have bitched that the team didn’t take the USOC sufficiently seriously. Last year was the first year they did in quite some time.

    The MLS team that has the strongest USOC history is Chicago. For a while, it seemed like they owned the thing.

  32. gerald says:

    I still don’t understand not starting Rojas with him being suspended this weekend and next.

    Good job to the Red Bulls fan who went down, I’ll see you Sunday

    congrats to DC for moving on

  33. gofirego says:

    Osorio, a man who is motivated by nothing more than money, now blasts his team for lacking heart and passion.

    Seriouly, how can this be an audition for Boyens, Pietravallo, Khano Smith? Khano and Boyens have flopped with other MLS teams and are simply showing more of the same in NJ. Pietravallo has been bad for NJ from day 1.

    All are Osorio’s men. They don’t lack heart — they just should be playing in USL.

    Osorio is not a good judge of talent. He has been allowed to remake two MLS teams and in all those moves, only one — Wilman Conde — has yielded an all-star.

    Osorio also is not a good tactician, as others have pointed out here.

  34. aristotle says:

    I wonder if racism wasn’t somehow involved in this embarrassment? Maybe the refs didn’t like Osorio implying they were racist so now they are all out to get him!

    To quote comic book guy, “Worst____ coach_______ever!”

  35. yankiboy says:

    I have to go with my DC Brethren and rep the Red Bull fans. Whether it was last year’s debacle and embarrassment of getting shutout by a USL2 club at a high school field or last night at RFK–Red Bull/Metro fans travel down, show up and give their all to support their club. Too bad the club doesn’t always demonstrate the same effort on the field…

  36. Chow says:

    Osorryoh cost the Fire the USOC by not trying against a USL team. Seems like he could care less about this tournament. This one won’t help him move up in his career. On that note NJ better be ready for S8OT, 5-1 here we come again!

  37. Haig says:

    “Red Bull/Metro fans travel down, show up and give their all to support their club. Too bad the club doesn’t always demonstrate the same effort on the field…”

    It’s sad. We deserve more than we get. But I’m proud of the ESC for bringing it once again. Thanks for the recognition.

  38. 505anthony says:

    I’m actually releived that at least Osiorio seems to be speaking frankly.

  39. Jimmie says:

    Congrats DC. As an RSL fan, I have to say DCU and RBNY are my next fav teams. (strange, I know).

    Go on DC, win it again.

  40. RLW2020 says:

    how long until c.renya takes over as NYRB manager?

  41. Mastrp says:


  42. Nats says:

    The only team I hate more than RBNY is Chicago. Two clubs playing ugly defense-first, long-ball soccer. This guy Wolyniec is rediculous. How old is he? 50?

  43. highlander says:

    The Open Cup has become our “kinda, sorta” Carling Cup. Nobody would mind winning it, but nobody cares enough to make it a priority except for USL teams.

    I wasn’t at the game so I can’t speak directly about the play, but I imagine that RBNY’s quality on the field will improve when their home facility isn’t complete crap.

    Until then, hang in there Red Bull fans!