Hudson Derby Heated Despite Red Bull Fans’ Silence

Don’t let Red Bull fans’ cautious silence fool you -- The New York Derby will be intense as ever
by Nick Chavez   |   Friday, May 20, 2016

The Hudson Derby (or New York Derby, if you ask MLS) is now, indeed, one of the top two most intense rivalries in Major League Soccer, as I have foreseen before the first New York City FC v. New York Red Bulls match was ever played a year ago.

A year later, Fox Sports Commentator and USMNT legend Alexi Lalas echoed this view, taking it a step further saying he now thinks "The Battle for New York" is now the very best rivalry in MLS.


However, you may not know it based on how quiet it's been on the Red side of New Jersey. Compared to last season, it has been uncharacteristically silent on social media regarding the cross-river rivalry from Red Bull fans.


NYCFC supporter’s group the Third Rail took it upon themselves to educate Red Bull Fans with this graphic yesterday.


One might be fooled into thinking that the novelty of the Hudson Derby has worn off, and the intensity has fizzled, but they'd be wrong.

What has actually happened is Red Bull fans aren't feeling quite as "bullish" as they were last season. The Red Bulls have fallen from grace since their Supporters’ Shield winning season with only 4 wins, 1 draw and a whopping 7 losses, leaving them in 5th place, and though buoyed by their win over the last-placed Chicago on Wednesday, concern over the team’s frailties this season persist.

New York City FC have also had a rough beginning of the season, but have since put in 5 strong performances straight, including Wednesday night's massive draw away against a formidable Toronto FC side with NYCFC resting several of its usual starters. And with that result, New York City are now sitting pretty on top of the Eastern Conference table on a 5-game unbeaten run.


So, don't let Red Bull's relative silence on social media fool you. They are simply afraid to engage in banter because they're worried that their undefeated record against New York City is coming to an end this Saturday, and with it, most of their available trash-talking ammunition.


As one member of the New Jersey-faithful put it, "[I'm] Hoping we just don't get destroyed against NYCFC. A tie would be a miracle at this point."

To be honest, you'd expect a bit more courage from fans of a side that are so accustomed to losing and underachieving in its 20-year history, especially having swept Los Celestes in their inaugural season, but I suppose their mostly joyless history hasn't made them any bolder.

No, instead they sense that they are ripe for the picking by a revived New York City FC side that has been growing in strength and confidence under coach Patrick Vieira.


The insertion of more defensive "teeth" and tireless, young legs in the midfield from Federico Bravo and Mikey Lopez have given New York City more defensive coverage for Andrea Pirlo, allowing him to pull strings offensively from a more advanced position, intelligently maintaining and distributing possession to the red hot Captain David Villa, Tommy McNamara and their supporting cast.

This extra defensive coverage has also allowed for the energetic, forward-thinking fullbacks Ronald Matarrita and RJ Allen to be more daring in attack, which is another key ingredient in NYCFC’s undefeated run against difficult opposition, including a famous away win over the defending MLS Cup Champion Portland Timbers.


New York City Football Club: First Place in the East after a very trying start to its season.

No, the relative silence from the Red Bull side of #NYCSoccerWarz is deceptive.

The same bad blood will be boiling again in the Bronx on Saturday, and both sets of fans will have a craving for victory they won’t feel again until their rematches in July.

This is a battle for the bragging rights of New York, competing in the world’s most popular sport, in the World’s City.

With every potential goal, red or blue, there will be blood-thirsty roars like that out of the ancient Roman Coliseum. Yankee Stadium will convulse in a sea of tribal desire. Frothing with defiant pride.

Fear will be abandoned on the battlefield, and the world will be re-acquainted with the power of this fixture that’s still only in its infancy. New York attitude combined with the unrivaled passion of the beautiful game always promised this spectacle.


Enjoy the day, soccer fans, and don’t be the poor fool that misses out on this clash and subsequent party. We’ve come a long way as a soccer nation, and this fixture is testament to that.


And as you breath it all in, take a moment to envision what it will all be like in the confines of New York City’s own, forthcoming soccer-specific stadium in the 5 Boroughs.

...Damn right.


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This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.