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The legend of Wright-Phillips grows with latest Red Bulls triumph

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For the better part of five years, Bradley Wright-Phillips has been the engine that never ceases to churn for the New York Red Bulls attack.

[ MORE: Red Bulls storm back to knock off Cincinnati in Open Cup semis ]

The Englishman that wears kit number 99 continued to cement his legacy with the MLS side on Tuesday night as Wright-Phillips added another two goals to his growing tally, which now stands at 94 in all competitions.

BWP — as Red Bulls faithful know him — recorded a brace after the 75th minute to help the Red Bulls reach the U.S. Open Cup final in Cincinnati, including once in extra time.

While Wright-Phillips certainly played a key role in the comeback, the striker emphasized his side’s “character” after they went down 1-0.

“It felt massive,” said Wright-Phillips. “When we went two goals down it was going take something special but if there’s one team that can do it. It’s not me being biased, it’s us. We have a lot of character, we’re a fit team and situations like that seem to suit us. As soon as we go a goal down, I don’t like it but sometimes we just turn into a different animal. Today, it was no different.”

Manager Jesse Marsch and the Red Bulls have come under scrutiny in the past for not showing up in big matches, particularly when the MLS Cup playoffs roll around.

The Red Bulls have finished atop the Eastern Conference in back-to-back seasons leading into 2017 under Marsch, however, the club has come up empty in the postseason.

Tuesday night’s comeback win over Cincinnati is a positive step for the club in terms of how the Red Bulls handle adversity in the biggest of matches.

“I think it’s been a very long time and I read things all the time about New York Red Bulls don’t win trophies or even some of their fans were saying we were going to choke into the semifinals,” Wright-Phillips said. “So it’s just good to get over this hurdle here and prove to people that we are a team that we’re learning and we’re getting better.”

Marsch and Co. trailed 2-0 with under half an hour remaining at Nippert Stadium, but a gutsy performance from Wright-Phillips and the rest of the Red Bulls crew ensured the team that they’d play in the their second Open Cup final in club history (first occurred in 2003 when Red Bulls were previously the MetroStars).

[ MORE: Fourth MLS firing in ’17 — Mastroeni sacked by Rapids ]

The Red Bulls will move on to the tournament’s finale next month when they take on Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park.

Red Bulls storm back against FC Cincinnati to reach Open Cup final

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FC Cincinnati looked to be on the verge of another historic victory at Nippert Stadium, but that was before Bradley Wright-Phillips had his say in the matter.

[ MORE: Rapids fire Pablo Mastroeni in fourth MLS coach dismissal in 2017 ]

The New York Red Bulls notched an impressive comeback on Tuesday night to knock off Cincinnati, 3-2, in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals.

The Red Bulls will now move on to face Sporting KC in the Open Cup final on September 20 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The 33,250 supporters in the crowd on Tuesday marked the second-highest attended match in the Open Cup’s history, according to TheCup.us.

Wright-Phillips grew his legend with the Red Bulls after recording a brace for the MLS club (his 93rd and 94th goals). Alan Koch’s side managed to stifle the veteran Englishman for most of the night, but Wright-Phillips kept on doing what he does best when it matters most.

The 32-year-old goalscorer tallied his second goal of the night in the 101st minute to help the Red Bulls complete their comeback, after having previously trailed by two goals inside the final 20 minutes.

Cincinnati was certainly on the back foot in terms of chances created throughout the night, but Austen Berry made no mistake with his opportunity in the 62nd minute, which gave the home side a 2-0 advantage.

The 28-year-old defender broke free on a corner kick from Kenney Walker, and Berry’s aerial effort left Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara with absolutely no chance.

This came after Corben Bone had sent Cincy out in front near the half-hour mark.

Just as the team looked dead in the water, goals from Gonzalo Veron and Wright-Phillips broke the hearts of Cincinnati inside the final 15 minutes of regulation.

For Cincinnati, Veron’s finish marked the first time the club has conceded in this year’s competition.

Video: FC Cincinnati holds halftime lead against Red Bulls

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The Cinderella of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup has shown no signs of slowing down in the year’s competition, and with one half remaining a USL side could be on the verge of reaching the final.

[ MORE: Rapids fire Mastroeni after three-plus seasons with West side ]

FC Cincinnati leads the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, at the break after Corben Bone blasted the hosts into the lead just after the half-hour mark.

It was a beautiful lay off from Danni Konig inside the Red Bulls penalty area that set up Bone, and the 28-year-old made no mistake with his volley.

With one half remaining, will Cincinnati be able to hold off the MLS side?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Underdogs FC Cincinnati complete Open Cup semifinals field

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Weather meant the NASL-USL showdown in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was played well after the other three semifinalists had been decided on the pitch.

The NASL’s Miami FC was at home for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the USL’s FC Cincinnati, but that didn’t help the outcome as FCC did its job as visitors in the first half before finding a winner in the second.

Senegalese striker Djiby Fall kept up his rampant season with a close-range goal as FCC advances to host MLS side New York Red Bulls on Aug. 15.

[ MORE: Latest on Neymar ]

Fall has 14 goals in 18 appearances for FCC.

The other semi features Sporting KC and the San Jose Earthquakes, and will be played on Aug. 9.

U.S. Open Cup: Earthquakes host Sporting KC, Red Bulls to travel in semis

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We already know three of the four teams that will represent the field for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, and now we know the scenarios of where the matches will be played.

[ MORE: Closer look at the CONCACAF Gold Cup standings ]

The San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting KC and New York Red Bulls all booked their places into the final four this week after advancing past the quarterfinals in their respective matches, while Miami FC and FC Cincinnati will battle it out at a later date after their fixture was postponed due to inclement weather.

Miami and Cincinnati represent Division II leagues NASL and USL, respectively.

The Earthquakes and Sporting KC will meet at Avaya Stadium on August 9, while the Red Bulls will travel to the winner of Miami FC vs. FC Cincy on the same day.

From there, Sporting KC drew the highest priority of hosting the final. Simply put, if Sporting KC wins its match against the Quakes, Peter Vermes’ side will go on to host the title match on September 20.

The Red Bulls drew the second-highest priority, while Miami FC/Cincy were picked third and the Earthquakes were last — meaning they would be on the road regardless of which club they draw in the final.