The New York Red Bulls will square off against cross-river foes, New York City FC. When the two played each other on May 10th, NYCFC was at the bottom of the power rankings and RBNY was at the top. Since then, the gap has been narrowed. RBNY snapped a four-game losing streak against RSL on Wednesday. NYCFC currently is on a four-game unbeaten streak. NYCFC seems to be developing a positive on-field identity, even before Frank Lampard and possibly Andrea Pirlo come to town.
In their last meeting, RBNY won 2-1 at home, in front of over 1,000 NYCFC fans. Now the home turf shifts to Yankee Stadium where RBNY will bring over 700 of their own supporters. This new rivalry is beginning to build some steam. Let's see who is performing well for NYCFC this season:
Josh Saunders (GK, 71 points; 3 clean sheets, 2 YC): Saunders has given up 7 goals in his last 6 games since playing RBNY, but NYCFC was able to blank Toronto in their last outing. He has played in every minute of the season except the 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire where RBNY-loanee, Ryan Meara, played all 90 minutes.
Chris Wingert (DEF, 61 points; 4 YC): Wingert has emerged as the leader of the defense, earning two clean sheets for himself the last two games (he came off the field in the 77th minute against Montreal with a clean sheet intact, but the team let up a goal after he substituted). If Wingert earns another yellow during the RBNY game, he'll be suspended for Montreal in Week 18.
Mehdi Ballouchy (MID, 54 points; 3 goals, 2 assists): Yes... Ballouchy has more fantasy points than Mix Diskerud (51 points). The former Red Bulls has been the most consistent performer for all of NYCFC. Sacha Klejstan makes his return since getting a red card in Week 16, so should match up against Ballouchy.
David Villa (FWD, 71 points; 6 goals, 3 assists): Villa started off the season very flat, but has had four goals and an assist in his last four games. He's starting to get into a rhythm since coming back from injury, which could be very bad for RBNY.