It was going to happen some day, so why not today? The New York Red Bulls couldn't keep beating New York City FC indefinitely. At some point, RBNY was going to have a bad game and the blue team would have a good one. That point arrived in the fifth game of this young rivalry, with NYCFC running to a comfortable 2-0 win in front of the potent mix of fans and people who are curious to see the inside of Yankee Stadium that comprises a home crowd in the Bronx.
An early goal from Jack Harrison , got it going for the boys in blue. He surprised Luis Robles with the shot, beating the 'keeper at the near post in the 8th minute. Andrea Pirlo served a long ball to Harrison coming from a deep position, and the young Englishman showed great poise and technique to control the pass and fashion a shot using Connor Lade as a screen.
The home team's second arrived in the second half. David Villa had several chances throughout the game, and finally converted one in the 66th minute. Streaking forward on the counter, Harrison had the ball at his feet with the Red Bulls' defense in disarray. His pass perfectly picked out Villa in front of goal.
In between the goals the Red Bulls were able to attack and tried to set up chances to level the match, but once Villa's tally went in, the feeling around the ballpark in the Bronx was that this one was all over. But for the first time in five games, the blue team seemed confident, determined, and capable of closing out the match.
"They were the better team today. They wanted it more, they changed certain things on how they defended to make it harder for us, we weren't sharp on the day and took away our advantages when we tried to press and we didn't threaten the goal enough." said Jesse Marsch, "In the last game set pieces we gained an advantage and this time we didn't, but they took advantage of a set piece and we know it's coming but didn't do well enough. Credit to NYCFC they wanted it more and they brought a lot into it."
The Red Bulls had the ready-made excuse of a four-game road trip to blame on this loss, but didn't touch it. Rather, they focused on the need to break out of the funk that has sunk the team to a four-game winless streak.
A loss to NYCFC is not the issue. The Red Bulls lead this series four games to one, and have outscored this opponent 14 to four in five matches. If the question this derby is supposed to settle is whether New York is red or blue: it's going to be red for a while. But the Red Bulls will be blue if they can't get back to winning ways soon.
The last four games have cost RBNY its shot at US Open Cup and eight of the last nine league points it has contested. For the second time this season, the Red Bulls need to turn themselves around and start winning again.