After going three and out in the MLS is Back Tournament, the New York Red Bulls returned from a long wait ready to resume their regular season. This time they will begin their second restart of this season, as they take on New York City FC.
While their opponents in blue had a longer run down in the Walt Disney World Resort, they like the Red Buls are a team in rebuilding mode. But no matter what the situation is, we all know that this derby has been explosive since it began back in 2015.
“It’s one of those games you circle on the calendar,” said Ryan Meara, “ For me, especially, it holds a special meaning. Being a local guy and living in New York my whole life.”
The Crestwood, NY native who doesn’t live that far away can attest to that, as he has played for both sides in a very brief time. This game will always have plenty of bragging rights when these two sides get together, but this time none of the fans will be able to enter the Arena, with the pandemic still going on.
“It’s a huge match for all of the players, these are the games that players want to play in regardless of the situation .” Said Sean Davis.
“I don’t think that will affect the energy on the field because the rivalry’s pretty set in stone and we know how we’re going to go out with the same intensity,” said Aaron Long.
Just as long as the energy from the players are still at a high level and continues to go strong, then we should have a competitive match in a true derby feel.
This will be the first time when I return to Red Bull Arena you won’t hear the singing or the chanting from the two factions of supporters, that will cheer for their respective sides. It will also be interesting to finally hear the players communicating on the field with no crowd noise drowning it out. What we have seen from the other leagues in Europe and during the UEFA Champions League is a strange and surreal feeling of no supporters, crowd noise, and tarps covering up the seats.
While it is necessary to keep people at a distance, at the same time to remain safe, I hope that when we can get back to normal so we can bring back the proper noise levels from all the members of the South Ward at Red Bull Arena. As we return to our regularly scheduled programming, let’s continue to stay strong and vigilant during this whole process so that we can return to normal and get back to the regular matchdays we have been trying to get to since the beginning of this season.