The New York Red Bulls came back to the Bronx to try and get the full three points and make a statement that the city that never sleeps is red all the way. While the team did accomplish that feat, sadly it was another tale of two halves, and this time they head back to Harrison with a one-all draw.
The opening goal came from the man that has owned this side since this rivalry got started back in 2015. Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to convert a big chance in the 37th minute that gave the visitors a lead late in the first half.
As Tyler Adams laid off a nice ball down the near side and found Daniel Royer, it was the Austrian that made the key pass, finding Wright-Phillips who was able to head the ball inside the far post.
For the Englishman, the goal was his 12th against the blue side of New York, and half of those are at the big ballpark in the Bronx. Another fantastic mark in BWP’s career is that this was his 200th career goal in both England and MLS.
Then, fortunes changed against NYCFC, as the team went down to ten men in the 40th minute. Eloi Amagat, in his debut, committed a studs-up challenge on the legs of Marc Rzatkowski, and referee Ted Unkel went to his back pocket and showed a red card.
But, the second half started a bit slow for the Red Bulls, as Domenec Torrent changed his formation into a 4-3-2 to compensate for the lost man. That’s where David Villa struck and showed he was still a force in the match.
In the 52nd minute, Maxi Morales sent a long ball towards halftime substitute Jo Inge Berget, and all he did was flick it at Villa, who brought it down with his right boot and ripped it with his left to beat Luis Robles for the equalizer.
From there, the match started to get out of control and very physical. NYCFC started to tackle a bit harder, and so did the Red Bulls.
VAR referee Mark Geiger contacted Unkel about a foul that Bradley Wright-Phillips suffered from the boots of Ebenezer Ofori. What he saw was Ofori put his studs in the back of BWP's left leg from behind, and after Unkel made the motion for Video Review, he walked over to Ofori and showed him a red card in the 73rd minute, putting NYCFC down to nine men. But, sadly the Red Bulls couldn’t break through.
While New York is officially red, this draw feels like a loss.
“Of course, it’s really disappointing, as it feels like a loss, and in Vancouver it felt like a win. Especially with one man up and then two men up, we just were not able to create enough clear chances.” said Daniel Royer.
This is the second draw in the history of the New York Derby, and the Red Bulls have gone winless in their last four matches in the Bronx. Now, attention must turn to Sunday, as Wayne Rooney and DC United are set to come to town.