Last season was the very first time that the New York Red Bulls fell to New York City FC, doing so by a score line of two goals to nil. That was at Yankee Stadium after the 7-0 match in the middle of May before the loss came in July. This time this was a ten-day span from the 4th round of the US Open Cup on June 14th till today’s game on June 24th.
NYCFC had a game plan and it worked to perfection to prevent the Red Bulls to do anything while pressing and setting up passes in the lanes while plugging all of them. That led to frustration and poor connections on the field.
That led to a well-worked goal from the blue side as Jack Harrison scored his second against the Red Bulls to take a lead in the 33rd minute. Rodney Wallace brought the ball up along the far side. He found Ben Sweat who made a nice, low cross to Harrison and then a gorgeous shot that bent inside the back post for the opening goal.
Throughout the match, Luis Robles made spectacular saves and while down a goal continued to make several sparkling saves to keep the Red Bulls in the game. Yet, in the 65th minute, the final nail in the coffin came for this one.
On a free-kick, Alexander Ring delivered a solid ball to the near side and Ben Sweat leapt up and headed the ball across the goal to an open man, but it did not matter as it bent inside the far post and splashed the net. For Sweat his first career MLS goal and what a time to get it in the NYC derby.
After the final whistle blew, NYCFC earned their first road win at Red Bull Arena and the visiting fans hit the PATH Train happy going over the Hudson River and so was Patrick Vieira. “It was a game that we worked during the week, we came over with a good game plan and we were satisfied with getting the three points,” said Vieira.
“We created a few chances and we scored with a solid team performance so it’s good yes with a derby to make it special, but at the end of the day it was three points and that was the most important thing for me today.”
Jesse Marsch did not mince his words as he knows his side was beaten in this one, but you can tell he felt sad for the fans as they took a hard loss at home. “Well, first you have to give them credit. They adjusted certain things that they do and they physically put a lot more into the game, which meant that we weren’t able to overrun them like we often do,” said Marsch.
“Then, you know, I would say that we’re, unfortunately, kind of what we’ve been all year, which is not very efficient or effective in the attacking part of the field, and in some ways anemic, again, giving up goals on set pieces.”
“So, you know, these are things that we’re aware of, and things that we’re trying to address within our team, but we still seem to be affecting ourselves in negative ways with the same problems. So, it’s a really bad feeling right now to have them celebrate on our home field. We’re managing the series to command the games and often come out ahead and as the better team. Today’s not the case.”
It wasn’t a good performance on the day. The record right now in all competitions the record for the Red Bulls is six and two with the US Open Cup win.
At the end of the day Jesse Marsch knows he needs to upgrade this squad and in a hurry and he said they need to find those players in the summer transfer window. He needs to get them in and fast or else this could be a very long short season.