Red Bulls Sweep All Three Derbies From NYC FC
Red Bulls top NYC FC, 2-0
The final regular season meeting of the two New York franchises in MLS was a battle outside Red Bull Park and inside. But when the smoke was cleared, even the first appearance of the big three, Lampard, Villa, and Pirlo together, could not make a difference on the scoreboard. The 2-0 Red Bull win completed a trifecta of victories over the expansion franchise located in New York City.
The Red Bulls scored spirited wins in the first two encounters, a 2-1 win at Red Bull Park and a come from behind 3-1 win in Yankee Stadium. The final confirmation that this series is an official rivalry was ignited with a fight between fans of the respective teams before the game outside a bar in Newark. This is not a surprise as Red Bull fans have been extremely vocal about the existence of NYCFC.
The splinter in the paw of NYC continues to be in the form of Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored the opening goal of the 21st minute. It was his fourth goal against his rival of the ten he has tallied this season. The Red Bulls are sitting well at 10-6-6 with 36 points and second place in the MLS Eastern Conference as they parried all of NYC FC best opportunities. “We lost the game obviously, but I think there were moments, particularly very early on when we could’ve taken the lead and the game might have gone differently.” Frank Lampard remarked on his MLS debut.
But it was the lack of cohesion from Lampard and Pirlo that highlighted the difference between the squads at this time. It’s something Red Bull Head Coach Jesse Marsch was quick to point out as the key. “Signing big names is their philosophy, their approach.” Marsch explained, “It has made a big splash. It’s different than what we’re doing.”
The game was put away by Felipe Martens whose near post snapper beat NYC Goalie Josh Saunders with five minutes remaining on the clock. The reality of the playoff hopes of NYCFC, which looked brighter with the recent improved form and the addition of Lampard and Pirlo to the starting eleven, is now flickering. “We need to win games,” Lampard reasoned. “In the position we are now we need to win the majority of games we have left and I don’t see a reason why not.”
NYCFC has eleven games remaining and are currently now 6-11-6 with 24 points, a distant eighth. But the revamped playoff system this season offers continued hope. The top six teams now qualify for the playoffs. That being said, it doesn’t look too impossible as NYC trails Montreal by four points only. In seventh place Orlando City is also four points ahead with one more game with the city team. “It’s going to be a tough challenge we’ll take with open arms,” NYC FC midfielder Mix Diskerud explained. “We have to win some games moving forward now against good teams, but we’re a good team and we believe in this.”
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