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New York City vs New York — as it happens

The first Hudson River Derby of 2018 is upon us! Watch LIVE on ESPN with us as the Pigeons fly into Jersey to take on the Red Bulls

Red Bulls celebrate after scoring
Red Bulls celebrate after scoring
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

FT: New York Red Bulls 4, New York City 0

The Hudson River Derby is now eleven games old (counting an US Open Cup game). The Red Bulls have won seven of those games. SEVEN. They’ve outscored New York City 25-11.

This is not a rivalry in any sense of the word. It’s not. It’s absolutely ridiculous to state otherwise. This is a worse loss than the 7-0 beating that the Red Bulls inflicted on New York City in 2016, because a team that’s as allegedly “good” as New York City were to start this season shouldn’t be losing games by four goals.

But worse than that was the sheer disinterestedness that New York City displayed throughout this entire game. This team is utterly soft, and shouldn’t be regarded as contenders until they prove otherwise. Which they clearly didn’t today.

85’: When the ‘Red Wedding’ happened, there was a reason. New York City were still feeling their way, and New York were the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners.

But there is no excuse for this performance today. New York City were the best team in MLS for the first quarter of the season. And yet here we are, with the Pigeons losing 4-0, and the Red Bulls looking like they could easily match the scoreline from that 2016 game.

It’s embarrassing. This team has invested way too much money in its lineup to be getting blown out by four goals.

78’: Goal, Derrick Etienne Jr. New York 4, New York City 0.

What else is there to say? The Red Bulls are four goals to the good, and as it stands, it’s the second-most lopsided scoreline in the history of this so-called “rivalry”.

65’: New York City substitution - David Villa off for Rodney Wallace.

Well, this is both shocking and emblematic of the day. Vieira uses his final substitution on Rodney Wallace (no surprise there) and takes out Villa (whoa!). There’s no handshake between Vieira and Villa as the latter departs the field.

It’s also — to me, anyway — a capitulation.

In five games at Red Bull Arena, David Villa has not scored. At all.

62’: New York City have continued attacking, but have nothing to show for it beyond those two attempts early on in the half. Red Bulls are content to just let the time pass.

55’: In marked contrast to how the first half went, the tactical shift and substitutions by Vieira have put New York City on the front foot to start the second. Jesus Medina had a wide-open look at goal which he blazed over the bar. Yangel Herrera had a free header which — again — went over the bar.

We’ll see if they make a game of it.

46’: Two substitutions for New York City — Ebenezer Ofori on for Anton Tinnerholm, and Sebastian Ibeagha on for Maxime Chanot.

Patrick Vieira needed to do something, and he did. It changes New York City up a bit, making it a 3-5-2/5-3-2. It means that the Pigeons are going to press the issue a bit, pairing Jesus Medina up top with David Villa.

HT: Jo Inge Berget has New York City’s first clear shot at goal on the stroke of halftime. That’s literally the only good thing to report from an execrable first half for the Pigeons.

It’s a gorgeous day outside. If — unlike me — you don’t have to watch the second half, go find something else to do. This team doesn’t deserve for you to spend your precious time off from work watching them make a mockery of the game. Last year aside, New York City routinely fail to take this matchup with the seriousness a true rivalry deserves — and they are paid extremely well to do that.

You aren’t. So why should you bother, if they don’t?

Let’s put it another way, and we’ll give the estimable Paul Carr (noted statistician) the last word here:

NYCFC has conceded three first-half goals six times in MLS play. Three of those six games have been vs the New York Red Bulls. Put another way: NYCFC has conceded three first-half goals three times in 10 MLS games vs the Red Bulls, and three times in 102 MLS games vs everyone else. (emphasis added)

41’: I never want hear about Patrick Vieira being a “relentless” competitor again. Maybe he is in other spheres, but last year aside, New York City have been anything but relentless in this “rivalry”. It’s a joke to say otherwise.

35’: Goal, Bradley Wright-Phillips. New York 3, New York City 0.

This one is over, folks.

The set-piece leads to BWP scoring his eleventh goal of the Hudson River Derby. It’s one of the easiest goals he’ll score. Neither he nor Kaku are marked, and this is what happens when you fail to do something basic like that.

I’m sorry, Pigeons fans, but really, it’s the team that should be apologizing to you for this inexcusable, abject, pathetic performance over the last half-hour. It’s an insult to professional soccer.

31’: It’s taken a half-hour for New York City to even begin sort of maybe threatening the Red Bulls.

Nothing comes of it. Of course.

26’: Real talk: The biggest frustration of this rivalry is that it’s obvious that one team cares way more about this rivalry than the other. Every single game in the Derby is the biggest game for the Red Bulls.

For New York City, this is just another game, and they play like it. And their play for the first 25 minutes of this game clearly demonstrates that. They’re playing like this is just a kickabout in Central Park, with no sense of urgency or care about the result.

It’s an insult to fans.

22’: Was that a handball? The Red Bulls will absolutely claim they were robbed, as the ball is kept from going out for a corner by Alexander Callens’ left hand. But was it intentional? Who knows? Kevin Stott waves away the protests.

New York City are utterly atrocious right now. It’s not a question of whether the Red Bulls will score again, it’s really a question of when.

15’: In the first five games of the Derby, New York won all of them. More to the point: they destroyed New York City in those games, outscoring them 18-4.

It’s looking like more of the same today.

11’: The way you break the Red Bulls press is by playing direct. New York City are starting to do that, but you kind of wish they’d done that from the start.

New York City are clearly rattled, and the Red Bulls will clearly want to score more right now, obviously.

4’: Goal, Red Bulls, Florian Valot. New York 2, New York City 0.

Oh, man, this is going to be a long afternoon. Another turnover — courtesy of the Red Bulls ever-present high pressure — results in Valot basically scoring a chipped goal on Sean Johnson. Unlucky? Sure, but it’s also deserved.

The Red Bulls are utterly trampling the Pigeons. Please tell me more about how this is the “most riveting” rivalry in MLS when one team has routinely failed to even show up, Adrian Healey.

1’: Goal, Red Bulls, Kaku. New York 1, New York City 0.

Just like old times, the Pigeons’ defense is caught absolutely napping. Bradley Wright-Phillips has all the time in the world to tee up a shot. It’s blocked, but Kaku has all kinds of time to score the rebound and does.

1’: We’re off! At long last, the Red Bulls are wearing red jerseys -- against New York City’s sky blue -- for this Hudson River Derby.

Rosters are out. As expected (and feared) Ismael Tajouri-Shradi isn’t in the 18, missing the game because of a balky hamstring. Also absent is Ronald Matarrita. Making the 18? Rodney Wallace, who will be undoubtedly introduced into the game in the second half to inject “energy” or something along those lines. It definitely won’t be scoring, though — Wallace’s last goal came last May.

On the flip side, Ben Sweat makes the starting XI. He scored the clincher the last time New York City won at Red Bull Arena, on June 24 of last year. That was a 2-0 shutout. Pigeons fans will be hoping for a similar result.


New York City Starting XI (4-3-3, L-to-R): Johnson; Sweat, Callens, Chanot, Tinnerholm; Ring, Herrera, Moralez; Berget, Villa (c), Medina.

Bench: Stuver; Abdul-Salaam, Awuah, Ibeagha; Ofori, McNamara, Wallace.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: MF Alexander Ring
  • Injury: QUESTIONABLE: MF - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (hamstring); D - Ronald Matarrita (lower body)

New York Red Bulls Starting XI (4-2-3-1, L-to-R): Robles; Lawrence, Parker, Long, Murillo; Davis, Adams; Royer, Kaku, Valot; Wright-Phillips.

Bench: Bezecourt, Escobar, Etienne Jr., Meara, Mines, Muyl, Ndam.

  • Suspended: None
  • Injury: OUT: D - Kyle Duncan (ACL surgery), D - Connor Lade (ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: M - Marc Rzatkowski (calf)

Referees: Kevin Stott (referee); Brian Poeschel, CJ Morgante (assistant referees); Sorin Stoica (4th official); Mark Geiger (VAR)

How To Watch

Match date & time: May 5, 2018, 1:55 p.m. EST

Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Online streaming: ESPN+ (out of blackout)

TV: ESPN, DAZN (in Canada)

Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English (Crooks, Kolker, Masur, Lawrence); WADO 1280 AM — Spanish (Abramowitz, Judas).

All-time series: This is it -- Hudson River Derby time. When the Derby began in 2015, New York City had the worst of it. They lost the first four, and the lowest point came on May 21, 2016, when the Pigeons were routed 7-0 -- one of four times a team has lost by seven goals in MLS history. That day, 37,858 saw both Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty score twice.

New York City could go nowhere but up since that day - and they have. They’ve won three of the last five matches in the Derby. Their last trip to Red Bull Arena, though, featured the first draw in the Derby’s history, as both Gonzalo Verón and Maxi Moralez scored to leave things level.

To a casual fan, the draw might be the clash between Wright-Phillips and David Villa, two strikers who’ve been talismanic for their respective clubs. But while BWP has delighted in tormenting the Pigeons and their fans, scoring ten goals in the games of this rivalry, Villa has been uncharacteristically quiet, scoring only four in ten games -- but three came in a hat-trick last year.

That means that New York City will likely need to look elsewhere for their scoring punch. The question is — who will provide that firepower?

This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.