QUEENS, N.Y. – It is the matchup every New York Soccer fan has been hoping for, and in two weeks they’ll get it.
The New York Cosmos 2-0 win Wednesday night over the Brooklyn Italians secured a fourth round US Open Cup contest with the New York Red Bulls. It will be the first time the two clubs face each other when they take the pitch at Shuart Stadium on June 14.
"I think it will be exciting," Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes said about the upcoming New York Derby. "Obviously they’re a very good team and it’s going to be a good challenge for us. I think it’s great for the New York/New Jersey area to have the rivalry and have two good teams play against each other, so we’re excited."
Mendes, a native of Mineola, knows the Red Bulls organization well having played for them from 2005 to 2011. Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarse also played with the organization during the years they were known as the MetroStars.
"For me it’s extra special. Just growing up in this community. Knowing the Brooklyn Italians, knowing the Cosmos, and playing for Red Bulls it’s all very special," Mendes said. "I think soccer is growing and New York deserves this."
Savarese was focused on what the upcoming New York Derby could mean for soccer in New York, than what it means for him.
"More than for me, I think it means for soccer in New York. I think here it’s not about Giovanni Savarese. He is about growing the sport of soccer in this area and I think these kind of games are the games that are gonna make the sport grow. The games that are called Derby per say. That happens every where, so that will be the first time that two local teams will be able to play here in this area.
"I think that’s exciting. I think it’s going to be a good thing… It’s two organizations that are professionals and I think it’s going to be a great match."
The head-to-head will be the first time the NASL and MLS side of New York Soccer have played. And it will be the first chance for the Cosmos to prove their skill up against MLS team.
However Savarese does not feel the Cosmos have to prove anything.
"I think we just have to come, play and do our game. That’s all," he said. "It’s not about first, second division play. I think we represent a very important organization, which is one of the most renowned organizations in the world from the United States. We’re just going to come with the group that we have to be able to play another match. It’s another US Open Cup, but definitely nothing for us to prove."
Kick-off for the New York Derby US Open Cup match will be at 8:15 on Long Island.