By Peter Schwartz
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The final time the Purple Bulls stepped foot on the pitch at Harvard, it wasn’t a really nice expertise.
It was on June 12, 2013, once they misplaced to the New England Revolution four-2 within the fourth spherical of the U.S. Open Cup event. Again then, the venue at Harvard was named Troopers Subject Soccer Stadium. Slightly greater than 4 years later, the Pink Bulls return to what’s now referred to as Jordan Area on Thursday night time for an additional contest with the Revs, however this time it’s a quarterfinal fixture within the U.S. Open Cup.
The Pink Bulls’ lineup will look vastly totally different than the group they delivered to Harvard in 2013, as there are solely three present gamers who have been lively for that recreation.
“I don’t assume there are too many guys left,” Purple Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara advised WFAN.com. “I could be the one one who performed in that recreation that can be enjoying on Thursday.”
Meara is completely proper, as goalkeeper Luis Robles and defender Connor Lade have been obtainable substitutes for the sport 4 years in the past however didn’t get within the recreation. This Thursday, Meara is predicted to get his third straight begin on this yr’s U.S. Open Cup after backstopping the Pink Bulls to wins over NYCFC and the Philadelphia Union to get thus far.
“To be on the quarterfinal stage proper now on this event, particularly having crushed two of our rivals, NYCFC and Philly, we’re all excited,” stated the previous star at Fordham Prep and Fordham College. “I feel we’re all feeling fairly assured, and we all know it’s going to be an actual battle towards New England. They’re all the time a troublesome staff to play towards.”
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That was the case final week in Foxborough, because the Purple Bulls rallied for a three-2 MLS common season win over the Revolution at Gillette Stadium. They all the time appear to have hassle with the Revolution in New England, however now they’ve the expertise of profitable up north to lean on.
“It undoubtedly provides us confidence,” stated Mear, who guided NYRB II to final yr’s United Soccer League title. “We nonetheless have that good feeling from (July 5) once we beat them up in Foxborough, however on the similar time, we additionally understand how a lot of a battle the sport was. We’ve got numerous respect for New England.”
Talking of respect, Meara has been incomes a number of that inside the Purple Bulls’ locker room throughout…