US Open Cup: Mads Stokkelien, New York Cosmos Slay New York Red Bulls


Jun 14, 2014; Hempstead, NY, USA; A New York Cosmos fan shows support during the match against the New York Red Bulls during the U.S. Open Cup match at Shuart Stadium. The Cosmos defeated the Red Bulls 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

US Open Cup: Mads Stokkelien, New York Cosmos Slay New York Red Bulls

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Many years ago, the New York Cosmos were the team in New York City. Now, despite the rise of Mike Petke’s New York Red Bulls, Giovanni Savarese’s Cosmos…are still the Cosmos in their 3-0 victory over the Red Bulls at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. on Saturday. To be fair, it could have been worse for the Red Bulls, along the lines of a 7-0 blowout comb, perhaps, but the finishing wasn’t crisp enough. Nonetheless, it did the trick, and the Cosmos will either host the Harrisburg City Islanders or travel to PPL Park in Chester, Pa. to take on the Philadelphia Union.

Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the match between the New York Cosmos and the New York Red Bulls.

1. Mads Stokkelien strikes early

Early in the first half, the New York Cosmos were looking to set the tempo early and deliver a mighty fine introduction to the Red Bulls, who were missing stars like Tim Cahill, Thierry Henry, Roy Miller and Dax McCarty, among others. A chance for the Red Bulls’ Peguy Luyindula was cleared by the Cosmos’ Hunter Freeman. Jonny Steele needed to make a clearance in the fifth minute of play, as the Cosmos were pressing for the breakthrough. In the seventh minute, they got that breakthrough, thanks to Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien, who broke through and hit the top left corner to make 1-0 Cosmos.

2. Ryan Meara forced to lock down

The match settle down after the Stokkelien goal, with both teams locked in a ball possession battle. A shot from Hagop Chirishian was blocked in the 12th minute of play. Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara made a solid save on a header in the 13th minute. Freeman has a chance in the 14th minute but missed wide left and hit the pavement hard. Hagop Chirishian was shaken up in the 16th minute but would keep playing until the 77th minute when he came in for Hunter Gorskie.

In the 18th minute, Meara had another diving save, this time on Sebastian Guenzatti. Stokkelien had another shot sail wide left in the 20th minute of play. Ibrahim Sekagya was cautioned in the 21st minute for a frustration foul. In the 22nd minute, a free kick from Ayoze sailed over the bar. A long through ball from the Red Bulls was collected by Cosmos netminder Jimmy Maurer. In the 25th minute, a shot for Carlos Mendes hit the crossbar but it didn’t miss by much. Another chance in the 27th minute for the hosts inside the box was cleared by Meara.

3. Goalkeeper showcase late in first half

In the 32nd minute, Red Bulls midfielder Eric Alexander tried to find Steele, but his chance was saved by Maurer. In the 33rd minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips had a chance sail over the crossbar, while Lloyd Sam had his chance blocked a minute later by Cosmos defender Jimmy Ockford. Ayoze was denied in the 36th minute by Meara.

As the chippy play continued on both ends, Luyindula had a good look in the 36th, while Steele was denied by Maurer again in the 39th minute of play. Meara continued his form in the 40th minute with another save, and in the 42nd, Cosmos forward Alessandro Noselli just headed the Stokkelien feed over the bar. The last big chance for the Cosmos in the first half came in the 44th minute, when a shot from Guenzatti just missed wide left.

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4. Meara with big saves in the second half

Early on in the second half, Red Bulls forward Andre Akpan came in for the struggling Steele to get the production going for Petke’s crew. Akpan called offsides on a through ball in the 48th minute of play. In the 52nd minute, a shot from Freeman was saved by Meara. Ayoze had a corner in the 53rd minute denied by the Red Bulls, and two minutes later, another Ayoze corner was collected by Meara. In the 58th minute of play, Guenzatti tried it again but was denied by Meara. The ball didn’t have a lot of pass and was easily collected.

5. Stokkelien completes his brace

Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela was cautioned in the 62nd minute for a shirt grab. Mendes, a former Red Bull, had a shot sky into the Cosmos’ supporters section in the 63rd minute of play. In the 65th minute of play, Maurer made another sweeping collection. In the 70th minute, the Red Bulls got some sequences going, but all their shorts were deflected and cleared by the Cosmos, who were well-organized in the box. A minute later, Meara had one of the best saves of the night, denying Guenzatti. It would be a mere footnote, and in the 73rd minute, Stokkelien completed his brace off a Szetela cross. Bobby Convey came in for Sekagya in the 74th minute to get a fresher legs in the lineup.

6. Noselli droves nail in coffin of 10-man Red Bulls

After Hunter Gorskie game in for Chirishian in the 77th minute, Noselli showed he had a nose for goal in the 78th minute of play to put the game out of reach for the Red Bulls. Stokkelien almost had a brace in the 86th but just missed the mark. In the 87th minute, Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall was sent off for a dirty tackle on Guenzatti, adding more salt to the wound of a side that, historically, has not taken this Open Cup competition seriously.

In the 89th minute, more substitutions took place: Cosmos midfielder Dane Murphy came in for Stokkelien and Red Bulls midfielder Michael Bustamante relieved Alexander. Just to rub it in, Wright-Phillips was cautioned in the 90th minute for a foul. Noselli would come out of the game for forward Hans Denissen.

New York Cosmos Player Ratings

Jimmy Maurer 7, Ayoze 7, Carlos Mendes 6, Hunter Freeman 6, Jimmy Ockford 6, Danny Szetela 8, Hagop Chirishian 6, Joseph Nane 8, Sebastian Guenzatti 8, Alessandro Noselli 9, Mads Stokkelien 10, Hunter Gorskie 4, Dane Murphy NR, Hans Denissen NR

New York Red Bulls Player Ratings

Ryan Meara 2, Ambroise Bitolo 2, Armando 3, Chris Duvall 1, Matt Miazga 2, Eric Alexander 2, Ibrahim Sekagya 4, Jonathan Steele 3, Lloyd Sam 4, Bradley Wright-Phillps 3, Peguy Luyindula 4, Andre Akpan 3, Bobby Convey 3, Michael Bustamante NR