We all know that New York City is the greatest city in the United States and in the entire world along with London, Paris, Milan, Munich and so on. But in this city with every sport we have more than one professional team in each league. Of course the New York Yankees and New York Mets in Baseball, the New York Knicks and New York Nets in Basketball, the New York Jets & New York Giants in the NFL (which only plays each other once every four years in the regular season) & of course three NHL teams with the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils within the tri-state area.
But of course when Major League Soccer wanted two teams within the same area there was a lot of talk going around because the new kids on the block felt they were more true New York City because they are renting the baseball cathedral in the Bronx while the oldest soccer team in the league since birth back in 1996 is playing at the stadium that is made for the sport since 2010.
There was plenty of yapping going on back and forth from both sides of the Hudson River and it was non stop smack talk even though one side was just beginning and the other was winning another regular season championship that puts them into the CONCACAF Champions League for the second time in three seasons. But while the other rivalries within MLS are a lot older than this as well as the historical rivalries that happen in Europe and South America.
We all know about Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal, Manchester City v Manchester United, Barcelona v Real Madrid, Inter Milan v AC Milan, Rangers v Celtic, Lazio v AS Roma, and River Plate v Boca Juniors. Of course within MLS, since day 1 Metro/New York Red Bulls v D.C. United has been the true hatred that brings the best of the best from the players, the coaches and the supporters from both sides of the stadiums. But what about the players who swept the three game series and painted the town red? Well when the end of the season interviews were being done at Red Bull Arena some of the players gave me their opinions.
Felipe Martins of course has seen it all go down in Brazil when Palmeiras & Corinthians face each other. So why not ask him how he felt being apart of history. "It was amazing and it was the first time that New York City has two soccer teams" Said Felipe, "The competitiveness was great & it was fantastic to get all three wins."
Lloyd Sam has been around the block in England playing for several clubs that have been involved with big rivalry games and of course Leeds United and Manchester United is right up there, but being apart of these three historical games against the little side was a huge moment for him because he did set up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the first historic goal between these two sides at Red Bull Arena on May 10th.
"It was amazing to be apart of and it was even better to win those games as well. We look forward to play against them next season, it's going to be great because of the crowds that came and the press that came to watch these special moments."
Let's also not forget locals like Glen Cove, NY native Mike Grella and Brooklyn born Anthony Wallace who knows what it's like to be apart of the local sports scene in this area and the pride of holding serve when it comes to seeing your side getting the best of their rivals.
"It was an amazing feeling playing at Red Bull Arena, it's electric to see the whole place filled like that." said Wallace, "It's great when you speak of those other main rivalries inside the city as we are trying to add and create this one as our own and to have the turnouts that we have, you don't see that and this is a once in a lifetime feeling. To get all three victories to give to our fans, it's even sweeter."
All nine points in these first three games and scoring seven while allowing two goes in favor of the Red Bulls. The only time they fell behind to New York City FC was in the first half at Yankee Stadium, till that three goal explosion in the second half came out of nowhere. Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring the first goal for the club in all three games and the last meeting at Red Bull Arena was the first clean sheet in history.
Next season should be just as exciting, just as loud and just as full of yapping as this past season was. But without a doubt this club that has been around for 20 years and real history has made sure that New York City is Red and we shall see what Patrick Viera can do as that other club pushed the reset button.