The time has returned once again as the Red Bulls are getting ready for their annual rivalry with the blue side of New York that continues to play their home games at the big ballpark in the Bronx.
The Blue side has had a good start to the season with several solid victories against some Western Conference opponents, but on twenty points in their first nine games Patrick Vieriaï¿½s side has looked dangerous and strong during the first two months of the season.
“We always circle this on the calendar, when we know we have the derby matchers. When they come early in the season it’s a really good chance to see where you at.” siad Jesse Marsch.
“If you go through the years the first year we played a hard game, then we were a man down. The second one we won 7-0 then the third one we began with the Open Cup that lead into the league and now we have the fourth installment of the first part of the series.
I think this will be the best one yet as New York City is not focused that much with the ball and they play well without it and to see how successful we can be against them this time around.”
Of course the Red Bulls started out with international cup competition as they went as far as the Semi-Finals in the CONCACAF Champions League mixing in with league games. But now it’s a different mentality out there as these two sides will meet up in a hotly contested league match for bragging rights.
At the moment the one player who has had their number scoring ten goals in ten games since the 2015 season is Bradley Wright-Phillips as he has torched their net so many times at Red Bull Arena and at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s incredible. It means he is a big game player. When you grow up in Manchester, you know what big derby matches are about. He’s probably watched his father and so he’s been ready for these games.“ Said Marsch
“They are exciteing and fun. He’s been able to challenge their backline and their keeper often and he will be going at it again. The most amazing thing about Brady he’s no secret, so every game we play a team has a defensive scheme and an emphasis to take care of him and he scores all the time.”
And what does Wright-Phillips thinks about his time scoring so many times against the blue side of New York? “The Derby has been good for me. It’s kind of hard to answer that, it’s gone well for me and I enjoy the game.
Doesn’t mean I do anything differently, I prepare the same way in every match I get ready for but it’s definitely gotten bigger and better every year.”
Currently NYCFC has a three match unbeaten streak against the Red Bulls with a dominating performance, a comeback victory and then the first draw between the two sides after the Red Bulls defeated them in their fourth round match up in the US Open Cup.
“It took a lot of energy performing in the CONCACAF Champions league and we got some of it back after our win at the LA Galaxy, but we told the guys that this is going to be our tough month. So we are in a big moment for us and we are excited to get this thing going.“ Said Marsch.
The performances from NYCFC has been very good especially when David Villa picked up an injury against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, March 11th and missed the next four games against Orlando, At New England, At San Jose then back home against Real Salt Lake but now he’s back when he was subbed in at Atlanta United.
“It’s a sign of a good team. Obviously he brings a lot to their team and he seems like a very good leader and that’s a sign of a good squad and a good coach. You can’t rely on one player and I think our team epitomizes that.” said Wright-Phillips
So while we are seeing the Hollywood Derby for the first time between LAFC & the LA Galaxy, this will be the fourth season of the Hudson River Rivalry and it will begin at Red Bull Arena.