The cry coming from the New York Red Bulls supporters at Yankee Stadium could not have been clearer following the team’s dominating victory over New York City Football Club: New York is red. That is unquestionably the case in Major League Soccer following the weekend’s events that saw the Red Bulls defeat their noisy neighbors for the second occasion in two attempts. Unlike the first time that the two sides met, the Red Bulls left no doubt on Sunday, controlling the action for well over an hour and notching a trio of goals that caused many among the home crowd to pack it in before the final pitch of the bottom of the ninth.
The cliché teaches that there is no rest for the weary, and that will continue to be the case for the Red Bulls as the July 4 holiday approaches. New York may be red for now, but there is a different rival that will have something to say about that during a midweek US Open Cup showdown.
New York Cosmos, Red Bulls, NYCFC power rankings: June 30
3. New York City Football Club: 17 points from 17 games
The blueprint for defeating the expansion side was produced by the Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium: Attack down the wings, play high pressure, and continue to attack down the wings while at the same time getting a little physical with David Villa early on during games. The NYCFC back line was again a liability, to the point that the Red Bulls would have easily buried at least half a dozen tallies on a different day when goalposts and wonky bounces would not have been an issue. Pirlo and Lampard may be big names, but they alone are not saving this squad.
As much as the three-match winning streak was a step in the right direction, the loss to the Red Bulls was a reality check some who were flying high heading into the final weekend of June needed before the warm summer months arrive. Keep your expectations realistic, NYCFC fans. One must learn to crawl before he begins running marathons.
2. New York Red Bulls: 23 points from 16 games
Returning to Harrison, New Jersey with all three points was always the main objective for the Red Bulls. Getting Bradley Wright-Phillips back in the scoring category was just as important. A Red Bulls attack that was failing to hit the back of the net in MLS play had a field day against the NYCFC defense, so much so that they were still on the attack in stoppage time despite being up by two goals with only minutes left to play. Red New York appeared to enjoy playing on the narrow pitch, and a team that was in disarray only a week ago has now won two straight games.
Fans of the Red Bulls were on top of the world a couple of days ago. They could, however, come crashing down if the team drops a home US Open Cup contest to the kings of these power rankings.
1. New York Cosmos: NASL Spring Champions
There will soon come a time when the New York Cosmos can concentrate on earning positive results during the fall portion of the North American Soccer League season. Before that occurs, however, the Cosmos will first be looking to prove that they can hang with and defeat any supposed top-flight club that it encounters. Hoisting a trophy is important for any club, no question, and the Cosmos winning the US Open Cup would be a massive accomplishment for the team and for NASL. That will only be a possibility if green New York defeats the Red Bulls.
The atmosphere at Yankee Stadium for Hudson River Derby 2.0 was as electric as expected. Those wearing Cosmos colors on Wednesday will be hoping to see the same from their fans, the away support in this instance, to help bolster players looking to pull off what some would say to be a upset. Are the Cosmos truly the underdogs going into the midweek derby? They do not think so, and that confidence could help carry them through all the way to a cup final.