To call New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe's treatment of the U.S. Open Cup "disrespectful" may be a bit kind. The coach didn't bother to travel with his team for their quarterfinal match against the Chicago Fire. He didn't send his top assistant. He didn't even send a full bench, with just 14 players making the 2.5-hour flight from New York to Chicago. In case you're wondering, though, Red Bulls fans don't seem particularly happy with the decision. Once a Metro, SB Nation's Red Bulls blog, goes as far to say that Backe may have well forfeited the match and save the ignominy of sending such a short-handed team:
When your manager can't bring himself to travel with the team or even name a full bench (only Alex Horwath, Teddy Schneider and Sacir Hot were available as subs), you get what you deserve - nothing. Managing a squad fatigued by international play and facing a hectic league schedule and a host of upcoming games (not to mention the thoroughly meaningless Emirates Cup in London), Hans Backe chose to throw in the towel on this tournament, the oldest in our nation's soccer history. He might have been better off forfeiting and saving on travel, because it's hard to see what players like Tyler Lassiter and Matt Kassel could have learned from Tuesday's ass-kicking.