Over the past couple of weeks, I have been writing these Three Questions articles with the assistance of fellow SB Nation blogs. But this is a special one for me. Not just because it's another edition of the New York Derby, but because the responder is none other than my brother, Brian Toto.
Let me first hit you with some background. I am a New York Red Bulls fan living in New Jersey. He is a New York City FC fan living in Queens. I am an Arsenal FC fan. He is a Manchester United fan. The only common ground we have in soccer fandom is for the United States National Team. So instead of reaching out to the writers of Hudson River Blue, I elected to ask my brother his thoughts on the upcoming game. And he's not just any NYCFC fan. He was part of the core founding group of The Third Rail and a season ticket holder.
Steve Toto: NYCFC may be higher in the standings than the Red Bulls, but they are still 0-4 against them including the last 7-0 defeat. How are the fans feeling going into this derby?
Brian Toto: I personally am very nervous about this match. NYCFC has been playing well in the past few matches but, in my opinion, I do not think that the team is set up to play at Yankee Stadium due to its smaller size. Also, I feel that a majority of NYCFC's game plans play into RBNY's hands. NYCFC likes to play out of the back and RBNY is very good at high pressing. NYCFC likes to control the ball from the midfield and RBNY does well swarming the midfield and cutting off passing angles. I would love to see NYCFC get a victory here but I'm not very optimistic. Here's hoping for a draw.
ST: A few games ago, all three NYCFC DPs scored. Now that Frank Lampard is back in the lineup, how important is their chemistry and performance?
BT: I think that is extremely key for victory. The interplay between Andrea Pirlo and Lampard in the midfield is extremely important. Also the interplay between David Villa and Jack Harrison on the forward line needs to harry RBNY's backline.
ST: What is the feeling of the fans on Patrick Vieira so far this season. If the team doesn't make the playoffs, do fan expect him to be let go like Jason Kreis?
BT: I think that Vieira has done a good job so far. I had the same thought when Kreis was fired last season. It seems that the Front Office has more trust in Vieira than they did in Kreis. So maybe, if Vieira doesn't make the playoffs this year with the squad, he will be safe. Then again, it may all depend on how much they miss the playoffs by.
The Red Bulls once again travel to NYCFC on Sunday July 3rd at noon. Wish I could be there alongside my brother, but it's also an important day for me off the field. Happy birthday to my wife, Kaitlyn, who isn't a soccer fan.