Bradley Wright-Phillips fights off a NYCFC defender as he chips in with a goal in the Red Bulls’ 3-1 win on Sunday.
In Round 2 of the Hudson River Derby, the battle for New York soccer played on a converted baseball field and billed as Red vs. Blue, the red team wore dark-blue shirts and yellow shorts.
So the Red Bulls can’t exactly paint the town red, but they can certainly claim superiority over expansion side New York City FC as the MLS originals went into Yankee Stadium Sunday and came away with a 3-1 victory before a sold-out crowd of 48,047. Having won the first match at home on May 10, the Red Bulls have clinched the season series against NYCFC with just one match left on Aug. 9 at Red Bull Arena.
“With the influence of social media nowadays, if you lose a game you won’t live it down,” said Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose 47th-minute goal tied the game 1-1. “Fortunately we won two and we want to win the third one.”
NYCFC (4-8-5, 17 points) had its three-game MLS winning streak snapped while the Red Bulls (6-5-5, 23 points) won their second straight. NYCFC fell apart in the second half after taking a 1-0 lead into the break on a sixth-minute Tommy McNamara goal, giving up three straight goals with future NYCFC players Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo in attendance. NYCFC has yet to announce the signing of Pirlo but the two European stars were on the field together before the game and shown on the center-field video board sitting next to each other.
Fans of the Red Bulls and NYCFC fill Yankee Stadium for Round 2 of the Hudosn River Derby.
The tide began to shift late in the first and the Red Bulls poured it on in the second. Five minutes after Wright-Phillips’ sixth goal of the year tied the game, Chris Duvall scored his first MLS goal on a leaping volley near the right post, sending the roughly 1,300 red-clad Red Bulls fans sitting in the upper deck on the first-base side into a frenzy.
They made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute through a well-executed free kick. Sacha Kljestan sent in the idle ball from the right side and U.S. under-20 international Matt Miazaga headed the cross in at the far post for his first goal of the season. The 19-year-old defender celebrated by running to the open patch of infield dirt behind the midfield-line camera and mimicked hitting a home run.
“We got away from everything we’ve been trying to do over the past several weeks and months, and it was an effort that was really disappointing,” NYCFC coach Jason Kreis said. “From my point of view, it’s the first time I felt like I don’t think we got a real honest effort out of our players.”
Frank Lampard is in attendance at Yankee Stadium and expects to join NYCFC later this summer.
Kljestan had two assists after missing Wednesday’s match because of a red card he received in last Saturday’s match against Vancouver for throwing an elbow and a leg at a defender. He took responsibility for the card and coach Jesse Marsch, whom Kljestan used to play with on Chivas USA, told the midfielder he’d have plenty of time to make it up to his teammates.
“I think tonight he wanted to make sure that in a big game, in a derby match, that he was gonna step on the field and make a big imprint, and I think he did,” Marsch said.
A lot of the buildup for this new New York rivalry has been manufactured because the two teams don’t have previous history, but there’s a sense that through two games in raucous atmospheres that the feud is becoming more organic, at least between the fan bases.
“We’ve always in the league looked to Portland-Seattle and what’s been developed there, and you have to now look at these two clubs and what they’re developing in terms of this rivalry,” Marsch said.
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