Derby Day 2: Red Hot Red Bulls Visit Bronx Blues of NYCFC

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - MARCH 06: Andrea Pirlo
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - MARCH 06: Andrea Pirlo /

NY Red Bulls and NYCFC Set for Second Act of League Derby

The NY Red Bulls have won three straight matches on the road. It is a shocking thing to type those words. That’s because it was barely a month and a half ago that the same club were just about a lock to lose away. But times have changed and so have the Red Bulls. NYCFC on the other hand is pretty much the same as they’ve always been this year.

That means the Bronx Blues are in third place on the MLS’ Eastern Conference table within relatively easy striking distance of first. That despite having just suffered a thumping loss to Sebastian Giovinco and top of the table Toronto FC.

Red Bulls are right behind them now however. The gap to the top for Coach Jesse Marsch’s men is down to 8 points and a derby win on Sunday would leapfrog them over their rivals.

Here’s a preview.

New York City FC (H)

  • Current record (W-L-D): 11-7-4
  • Last time out: 0-4 away to Toronto FC
  • Player to watch for: I would like to write about Andreas Pirlo here. But that’s a tough sell at this point. Pirlo has the capacity to take over a field when he plays. But the key phrase there is, “when he plays”. He did take the field last time at Toronto, but another Italian import made fast work of Pirlo and the rest of the blues. Pirlo likely yields his spot again this week to Yangel Herrera back from suspension.
  • Why they win: Things go good for NYCFC when the offense goes through Maxi Moralez. 
  • Why they don’t: Actually NYCFC ought to be favored to win this match regardless, but it remains to be seen what adjustment head man Patrick Vieira can or will make against the revamped Red Bulls.

NY Red Bulls

Daniel Royer
Daniel Royer /
  • Current record (W-L-D): 11-8-2
  • Last time out: Moved their current win streak to 4 with a 4-0 home victory over Montreal Impact.
  • Player to watch for: For the moment this category is more than filled by Red Bulls’ Daniel Royer. The Austrian has benefitted the most from Marsch’s recent formation change fueling the win streak with 6 goals. But the money man on the field for NYRB continues to be Bradley Wright-Phillips. He rang the till this past week with his 80th career MLS goal. Don’t waste your money buying a ticket if you’re not going to keep an eye on BWP.
  • Why they win: Royer + New Shape = Win Streak.
  • Why they don’t: Though Red Bulls definitely have the momentum to pull off this “road” victory, NYC FC has a lot of incentive to protect their house. A draw is not out of the question.

Next: Multiplex Podcast, Ep. 11: Summer Transfers

  • Where: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York
  • When: Sun. Aug. 6, 6 pm ET
  • How to watch: FS1, Fox Deportes