The dreams of lifting the 2022 U.S. Open Cup trophy remains alive for one MLS NEXT Pro side as the fourth round of the historic competition kicks off on Tuesday.
RNY FC has the most challenging test this week as Bruno Baltazar’s side makes the trip to Belson Stadium for a showdown with defending MLS Cup winners, New York City FC.
After earning victories over Lansdowne Bhoys FC and FC Motown in consecutive rounds of the U.S. Open Cup and claiming a first-ever MLS NEXT Pro win on Sunday, RNY FC will pull out all stops to declare a significant scalp in the fourth round this week.
New York City FC comes into the match in solid form, riding a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Ronny Deila’s squad will be favored to advance into the fifth round of the tournament but have to be wary of RNY FC’s will to pull off a major upset.
Here is a closer look at this week’s U.S. Open Cup action:
New York City FC vs. RNY FC - Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
RNY FC faces the most challenging competition yet of its existence as a franchise but will be excited for the opportunity to visit defending MLS Cup Champions, New York City FC, on Wednesday night.
A 2-1 road win over FC Cincinnati 2 on Sunday handed Bruno Baltazar’s squad their first-ever MLS NEXT Pro victory, with Milan Vanacker and Pedro Dolabella scoring the goals at Northern Kentucky University.
Rochester New York FC has found immediate success in this season’s edition of the U.S. Open Cup, eliminating Lansdowne Bhoys FC and FC Motown in back-to-back rounds. Despite being down to nine men against FC Motown, RNY FC advanced after winning 4-3 in a shootout.
Wilterlynd Inalien has three goals in all competitions, Dolabella has two goals, and three other players have contributed tallies this season. Lamar Batista headlines the RNY FC backline after featuring in all five league matches.
New York City FC enters the U.S. Open Cup unbeaten in five-straight matches in all competitions, most recently tying Sporting Kansas City 0-0 at Citi Field on Saturday. In recent weeks, Ronny Deila’s side has scored 14 goals in their last four league matches, with six different players getting on the scoresheet.
Defending MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin Castellanos leads the way with five goals in league action, while Thiago Andrade (four goals) and Talles Magno (four assists) are also top offensive threats in the NYCFC attack. Keaton Parks and Santiago Rodriguez also headline the growing number of midfield options, while Tayvon Gray is one of the upcoming young talents at fullback.