The New York Red Bulls’s authority in the New York area is under threat when the Red Bulls and NYCFC play twice in 10 days.
Domestic domination is a rare sight in the MLS. While sides have claimed successive MLS Cup titles, the sides at the top come and go far more often in the US than in Europe, where the late stage or high finishes for top sides of domestic and continental competitions are annual.
Factor this into NYCFC’s previous and current season and their performance is actually quite impressive. They finished just three points off first last season and are in contention to finish high up in the Eastern Conference once more.
A season and a half may be little to go off of, but at the moment, the fact that it makes up just over half of their existence to date highlights how impressive they have been. Although their first ever season took place just two years back, they have established themselves as one of the MLS’s strongest sides.
However, since their opening season, they have struggled to achieve such dominance on a local level. State rivals New York Red Bulls’ superiority is without question as they have claimed victories in the majority of matches as well as first place finishes in the past two seasons.
Despite NYC’s first ever New York derby win last season, they slipped to humiliating 7-0 and 4-1 defeats in the other two clashes with the Red Bulls. Points wise, the margin between the two sides may have been slim, but the Red Bulls’ place as New York’s strongest club was clear.
Patrick Vieira’s men will seek to change that as they play the Red Bulls twice in ten days beginning on the fourteenth of June in their US Open Cup match. The results of the two sides so far will certainly instill belief in NYC FC’s players and supporters that the pendulum could swing in their favor come the two matches.
NYCFC have had their struggles when it comes to the creation of goal scoring opportunities and strong outcomes against clubs at the lower end of their conferences, but have earned some impressive victories.
They became the first side to defeat Columbus as well as Orlando at home this season, scoring three in each match, while they also produced stunning attacking displays in the final third against DC and Atlanta at Yankee Stadium.
Though they have struggled when playing teams at the bottom end of the table, the profile and significance of their fixture with the Red Bulls and matches in which they emerged victorious correspond.
NYC’s superiority to the Red Bulls this season is evident in their four-point lead over their local rivals, as well as in the Harrison side’s struggles this season.
Jesse Marsch’s men occupy the final playoff position, but could wind up behind Atlanta and Montreal should the latter sides win their games in hand.
They fell to heavy defeats at Houston Seattle, and even the Philadelphia Union who had been winless prior and have simply been disappointing throughout the first weeks of the season.
The Red Bulls’ excellent campaigns interfered with NYC’s efforts to establish local dominance in their first two seasons. However, their results have done little to convince their followers that they will mirror such success this season.
NYC have not been entirely impressive this season, but a series of convincing results, as well as their four-point lead over their rivals, should see them enter their upcoming two derbies with little fear.
The assertion of regional domination is quite difficult in NYC FC’s circumstances, but should the momentum of the two clubs continue in meetings, a slight shift in power may begin to appear.