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Game Day Hub: NYCFC vs Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby

NYCFC fans rally before a game.
Weather report says: New York City is blue | Courtesy NYCFC.com

Today is Matchday 12 – and the 25th edition of the Hudson River Derby – and New York City FC are in the Garden State to face their roommate arch-rival New Jersey Red Bulls: Here is your NYCFC vs Red Bulls game preview.

New York City are limping into their first Derby of the season, losers of three straight matches in all competitions and winless while playing on the road in 2023 (2 D, 4 L in MLS play).

And then there’s the history between these two clubs. Out of the 24 matches played, NYCFC have won 8, drawn 3, and lost 13: No club pwns New York City like the Red Bulls.

NYCFC vs New Jersey H2H
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Some caveats regarding that head-to-head. First, three of those Red Bulls wins came in US Open Cup matchups that were all played at Red Bull Arena, and that NYCFC don’t necessarily prioritize. If you go by MLS league games only, the head-to-head is closer with 8 wins, 3 draws, and 10 losses, with a goal differential of -10.

Second, the five most recent MLS league games played in the last two years between the clubs have been evenly contested. NYCFC have a 2-1-2 record, with a goal differential of +1. Third, five of the wins logged by the Red Bulls come from 2015 and 2016, when they were one of the dominant teams in MLS and NYCFC was in its early expansion era.

Matchday Essentials
  • Matchday 12: NYCFC at New Jersey Red Bulls
  • Date and Time: Saturday, May 13, 7:30 pm ET
  • Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
  • Venue: Red Bull Arena
  • Bruce Arena Forecast: Breezy, cloudy, 72˚F/22˚C
  • Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
  • Broadcast Team: Jake Zivin and Taylor Twelleman
  • Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
  • Officiating Crew: Ted Unkel (referee), Cory Richardson and Nick Uranga (assistant referees), Tori Penso (fourth official), Edvin Jurisevic (VAR), Eric Weisbrod (assistant VAR) 

NYCFC

Injury Report: Alfredo Morales is out with a lower-body issue. The rest of the squad is available.

• NYCFC are winless on the road so far this season, but this is the most favorable away game the club have had all year: There’s no travel day, and they’re facing the weakest Red Bulls squad New York City have ever seen.


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• Will Matt Freese get another start? The biggest acquisition of the offseason did will in his NYCFC debut against FC Cincinnati – and was named Player of the Match by Hudson River Blue readers – but is that enough to overtake Luis Barraza?

Who will score goals? Who will take some shots on goal? You need to shoot to score, but the NYCFC attack have been anemic in their attempts on goal. New York City managed just five shots in Wednesday’s loss to FC Cincinnati, only one of which was on goal, and none of them looked dangerous.

Is the Hudson River Derby a proper rivalry? There’s no love between the two clubs, and a reported 22,000 tickets have been sold for this match, but it might require some high-stakes games for this to become one of the world’s great derbies.


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New Jersey Red Bulls

Injury Report: A whopping eight players are unavailable for this game. Midfielder Frankie Amaya, striker Cory Burke, midfielder Luquinhas, winger Lewis Morgan, center-back Matthew Nocita, forward Serge Ngoma, and midfielder Steven Sserwadda are expected to miss the game because of injuries. Striker Dante Vanzier is serving a suspension after using racist language during a game.

• Who will run the midfield and provide the attack with all those players missing from the squad? Check out Oppo Research: 5 things you need to know about Red Bulls for a educated guess at what the Starting XI will be.


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