Too many times, we’ve seen New York City FC start off way too lax in games against their cross-state rivals, the New York Red Bulls. The Jersey Boys have used the high press as their main philosophy since the Jesse Marsch era in 2015. And since then, it’s proven to be extremely effective against the more deliberate and slow style of NYCFC that has been a mainstay since Patrick Vieira took over the club in 2016. In 17 total renditions of the Hudson River Derby (don’t you dare say “New York Derby” again, MLS), the Bulls have reigned supreme 10 times, with New York City collecting five wins and two draws.
Safe to say, the high press works well against teams that are committed to building the play up from the back if everyone does their job right. But NYCFC manager Ronny Deila has assured that his team will try to match the Jersey Boys’ energy from the opening whistle.
“We are the same way now,” Deila said on Saturday in a press conference over Webex. “So we have to match [their intensity]. If we don’t match [the Red Bulls’] intensity, we will lose the game... The way we’re training and the way we play, we can do that. But we have to be ready when the game starts... like we were [against] Toronto. When we start sharp, we take that tempo into the rest of the game as well. So the beginning is gonna be important for both teams. And we have to be up for the game. If not, we will be punished.”
Deila got his first taste of Hudson River Blue action back in August when NYCFC suffered a very controversial 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls on a goal that probably shouldn’t have been ruled as such. The Red Bulls’ previous win in July of 2019 was also controversial due to the infamous #CornerGate debacle.
The way I see it, the red team from Jersey is owed a proper ass whupping at the hands of the Boys in Blue. Let’s hope the team can deliver on that.