The Hudson River Derby Coming To The Garden State

NYCFC and New York Red Bulls come to battle in the NYCSoccerWarz.
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

It’s coming. The first derby between the New York Red Bulls and the visiting team, based in the Bronx, New York City FC, is nearing and there are many rumblings in the Tri-State area on what is New York: #NYisBlue or #NYisRed.

Although whether New York is Red or Blue (or maybe even Green…thanks to the New York Cosmos) is disputed and yet to even be debated since there have been no matches between the Red Bulls and NYCFC, there’s a lot riding on this inaugural game.

Not only is there some bad blood from NYCFC’s side of things because they truly are a New York team – with the Red Bulls based in Harrison, New Jersey – but there’s also no love lost on the West side of the Hudson with Red Bulls supporters a little surly with another MLS team introduced in the greater New York City area.

Coming into the Hudson River Derby, New York City FC’s form certainly isn’t what it would like to be whereas the Red Bulls are riding relatively high with their third place standing in the Eastern conference. With eight games played, the Red Bulls are 3-1-4 with their only loss coming during week 9 of this 2015 MLS season against New England Revolution. On the other hand, NYCFC – with 9 games played – have a record of 1-5-3.

This 2015 season has not been as easy as Jason Kreis and company thought it might be, even for an expansion team. Fellow expansion side Orlando City SC is just one spot above NYCFC in the table, and it looks like both sides have been feeling the pinch. Orlando City forward Kevin Molino was recently diagnosed with a torn ACL while NYCFC DP and captain, David Villa, is nursing a nagging injury. Although the Spaniard has only missed a handful of games, his absence has definitely been noted. The former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward has the most amount of shots, shots on goal, and goals for NYCFC, and although there are more than able substitutes, a rookie in Khiry Shelton – no matter how capable and how much he’s off to a great start – has not yet reached the status like Villa, a Champions League winner, is at. That said, Shelton has proved himself as a force in and of himself, and regardless of how he performs during this first Hudson River Derby, Shelton is one to watch.

Across the River in Harrison where the game will be played, captain Dax McCarty looks to ole the Red Bulls into its fourth win of the season. This year, so far, has mainly been ups with the team from New Jersey, especially while not taking into account the turnover of Mike Petke and Jesse Marsch as head coach. Even though the Petke-to-Marsch switch was a bit prickly, it seems as if Marsch – former head coach at Montreal – is heading in the right direction. From the looks of it, the addition of Sacha Kljestan – the USMNTer formerly at Anderlecht in Belgium – is a driving force of the great results so far, as well as the aforementioned McCarty, Lloyd Sam, and the 2014 MLS Golden Boot Winner, Bradley Wright-Phillips.

With both teams having some ups and downs already this season, the Hudson River Derby could not have come at a worse time…which in turn, is really the best time. NYCFC and New York Red Bulls will have to show up with their best foot forward for this first MLS battle between the blue New York team and the red New York team. Any way the results end up, get ready for #NYCSoccerWarz.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.