This is expected to be the New York Red Bulls' final friendly for those players who will be contributing to the team's continuing 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League campaign. The result might not mean a great deal, but match-day minutes are important for those who might be starters against Vancouver Whitecaps on February 22. And, of course, it is to be hoped RBNY's senior players stay injury free in the build-up to the big season-opening CCL game.
The most eye-catching name on NYCFC's preseason roster is Mix Diskerud - a player it is thought the club would very much like to shift.
Mix Diskerud rejoined NYCFC today in Tucson for preseason. He is not expected to have a role with the team in 2017.— NYCFC Nation (@NYCFCNation) February 13, 2017
Exhibition games might be a chance for Diskerud to impress a potential new employer, or Patrick Vieira might decide there is no value in disrupting his preparation for 2017 by allowing an unwanted player time on the field.
This game will inevitably be hyped as the start of Hudson River Derby: 2017 edition. But both sides have other priorities at the moment. RBNY, however, will hope for a little more bite to the match than is usually found in a mid-February MLS friendly, because the next game the Red Bulls play will count for something. If NYCFC can muster a little Derby Day intensity, it might be the biggest favor RBNY gets from its neighbor all year.