Today is Matchday 29, which sees New York City FC hosting the New Jersey Red Bulls in the Bronx in front of an expected crowd of 30,000. This edition of the Hudson River Derby features two struggling sides desperately trying to climb out of the bottom of the table.
Stop us if you hear this already, but it’s another must-win afternoon for New York City if they hope to make the playoffs: Here is your NYCFC vs Red Bulls Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 29: NYCFC vs New Jersey Red Bulls
- Date and Time: Saturday, September 16, 3:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 3:39 pm ET
- Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium
- Forecast: Overcast and breezy, a nice edge-of-the-hurricane afternoon, 77˚F/25 ˚C
- Watch: Apple TV
- Apple Broadcast Team: Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Joe Dickerson (referee), Jose Da Silva and Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho (assistant referees), Filip Dujic (fourth official), Drew Fischer (VAR), Fabio Tovar (assistant VAR)
NYCFC vs New Jersey preview
Both NYCFC and New Jersey are having rough years, and both are outside the playoff zone. The two have the longest playoff streaks in MLS: The Red Bulls have made the playoffs for the last 13 years, NYCFC for the last eight years, and both could come to an end in the coming weeks.
Depending on your point of view, this either makes this a high-stakes edition of the Hudson River Derby (with the winner living to fight another day), or a low-rent game between two floundering teams.
NYCFC vs New Jersey H2H
Let’s not sugarcoat it: Nobody pwns NYCFC like the Red Bulls.
New Jersey have the most games against New York City (26), the most wins (15), the most goals (45), and the largest goal differential (+20). The boys from Harrison added to that total earlier this year, beating NYCFC twice by the score of 1-0. Both games took place at Red Bull Arena.
It’s interesting to note that the two sides drew only three times — you’d expect at least twice as many given how many games they played.
- Player Availability: Maxi Moralez is out for the season after injuring his ACL. Backup goalkeeper Cody Mizell will miss this game with a lower body injury.
- Both Mitja Ilenič and Keaton Parks are one yellow card away from sitting out a game due to yellow card accumulation.
- Will Matt Freese get his third start in a row? HRB contributor Matthew Mangam makes the case why the Iceman should be in goal.
- Will we finally see Mounsef Bakrar and Talles Magno on the field together? Head coach Nick Cushing hasn’t played the two at the same time in an MLS league game.
- The official Hudson River Blue NYCFC Playoff Tracker inched up one point after the wasteful draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and now stands at 30 points on the season. New York City need a win today if they’re going to stay in the playoff picture.
- Player Availability: Striker Lewis Morgan is out for the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery, forward Serge Ngoma is out with a hamstring injury, and defender Sean Nealis is suspended after earning a read card.
- As of publication of this post, only 70 out of the 250 away supporters tickets were sold.
- Interim head coach Troy Lessen is also suspended, and will be replaced by assistant coach Zach Prince
- Where will the Red Bulls find goals? Their 24 goal tally this season is the third-lowest in the league, and striker Dante Vanzeir has only two goals in MLS play this year.
- You can read more about the team in Oppo Research: 5 Things about the Red Bulls