Red Bulls host NYC FC in Big Apple Derby pt. IV: Too much of a good rivalry?
This Friday brings the fourth competitive match between MLS’ two New York franchises, New York City FC and NY Red Bulls. That might explain why everybody is running out of things to say about the rivalry:
But if BWP wants to know why he’s constantly being asked about David Villa he need only think back a couple of weeks. The two sides met then at Yankee Stadium in the last league match between them. NYC FC won that game, 3-2. Wright-Phillips scored both the Red Bulls’ goals. Villa topped that with a hat trick of his own.
It was the second league win this year for the blues over the reds from New Jersey. Red Bulls did defeat NYC early in June in an Open Cup quarterfinal. Red Bulls are into the Open Cup final in late September, but they are currently way off the pace in the MLS East.
They need points. They’d like something to show for their third in-league match of 2017 against NYC. And, well, Bradley Wright-Phillips at least would like to have the press asking David Villa about the Red Bulls striker for a change.
NY Red Bulls (H)
- Current record (W-L-D): 12-10-2
- Last time out: Lost 0-2 away to Portland Timbers last Friday night.
- Player to watch for: Daniel Royer has been out for the last 2 league matches as well as the Open Cup semifinal victory over FC Cincinnati. The club’s website is silent on when he might be due back. It continues to list his status as “week-to-week.” Until he does return the pressure will be on Sacha Kljestan, Red Bulls’ assist leader, to create chances for BWP.
- Why they might win: This is the 3d in-league meeting between these two clubs, as noted. So…3d time lucky?
- Why they might not: Tyler Adams was a potent offensive threat earlier in the season. Then he went off to play for the US’ U21’s. He’s still a threat, but needs to step into Royer’s shoes and turn that potential into scoring.
- Current record (W-L-D): 14-7-4
- Last time out: Ran their current win streak to 3 with a 2-1 home victory over NE Revolution last Sunday.
- Player to watch for: Andrea Pirlo had been replaced by midseason acquisition Yangel Herrera for the last few matches. But Herrera is unavailable for this match based on accumulated yellow cards. There was a complete solar eclipse this past Monday over much of North America. Could a “Pirlo totality” be the second rare celestial happening this week?
- Why they might win: NYC have 4 wins, 1 tie and 1 loss in their last 6 matches. The loss and tie were both against conference leading Toronto FC. TFC lead NYC by just 7 points total now. Apparently the blues must make up the deficit against every other team.
- Why they might not: Despite their impressive record over the last month, Patrick Vieira’s team has also had its share of personnel changes for one reason or another, as noted. That might have fans and players alike wondering, “who are those guys?”
How to watch:
- Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
- When: Fri. Aug. 25, 7p EST
- Watch: ESPN