The 1-1 draw with NYCFC felt more like a loss for the New York Red Bulls. City saw two players sent off during the derby, but Chris Armas’ men were unable to knick a second winning goal.
There were many physical battles during the match as the spirit of the Hudson Rivery Derby was flowing through each and every player. Kemar Lawrence was booked for shoving Anton Tinnerholm to the ground and Andreas Ivan made a few rough tackles of his own.
Despite the result, it was great to see the true spirit of a derby during the match. It did not seem forced or over the top, but the physical play and jeering from the fans made this a great match to watch.
The Red Bulls need to get over their frustrations from this match quickly as a reborn DC United side is set to visit Red Bull Arena. Wayne Rooney and company have been on an incredible roll lately, and their attack has never been better.
DC has won four of their last five matches, drawing the other one. They have scored 12 goals in those five matches with Rooney scoring three and assisting two in that time.
The last time DC lost was oddly enough the last time these two teams met. The Red Bulls squeezed out a narrow 1-0 victory on a rainy night at Audi Field.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was the scorer that day as the two teams scrapped and fought for a grueling 90 minutes. Rooney played just 33 minutes that night as he was still getting back to match fitness.
Now, with eight appearances under his belt and a weeks rest since his last match, Rooney will be expected to go at least 75 minutes against the Red Bulls this time out. He has played a full 90 minutes in four of his last five appearances as well, so Red Bull Arena could be treated to a full outing from the Everton legend.
Unfortunately for the Red Bulls, they have not had a break longer than four days since August 18th. The team has been playing non-stop this month and are set to cram in two more matches by September 1st.
This could mean heavy rotation for Armas and his team. The full first team was on display for the derby against City for obvious reasons, but a match against the lower ranked DC United would be a good chance to make some switches.
BWP has been playing full 90 minute matches for the entire month of August, so giving him a break would be understandable. Derrick Etienne was tested as his replacement against the Columbus Crew last month, but he was ultimately too small to play as a hold up striker.
This could mean either shifting Royer up top to play alongside Etienne, or giving striker Brian White his second appearance as a Red Bull. The latter option would be a bit riskier, so White could end up with another cameo appearance off the bench.
The defense could also use some rest, meaning Aurillien Collin or Fidel Escobar could see some game time. Hassan Ndam also impressed when he went the full 90 against the Crew, so his name should be mentioned as a possible replacement.
Keeping either Aaron Long or Tim Parker in the starting eleven would be wise for Aramas. DC United may be near the bottom of the table, but their recent offensive resurgence suggests they will be much tougher to deal with.
Tyler Adams will likely continue to play as he will be tasked with marking Rooney out of the game. At his age, Rooney tends to sit a bit deeper in the midfield where Adams likes to roam, so the battle between the two will be fascinating to watch.
A win by DC will put them in a great spot as they continue to fight for a playoff spot in the east. Their recent form also suggests they will not sit back and will bring the fight to the Red Bulls on their own turf.
This could leave a lot of space for the Red Bulls to play their attractive counter attacking football, so Armas needs to convey the importance of finishing the chances they get. Getting back to their ways of early goal scoring will only open up the game, so expect a quick blitz from the first whistle from the Red Bulls.