The third and final edition of the ‘Hudson River’ derbies was a duplicate of the first two matches in many ways: it was another eclectic atmosphere, another deliriously enthusiastic sellout crowd and a similar result — the New York Red Bulls defeated New York City FC, this time by a 2-0 margin.
Ironically, the New Jersey team with the New York name rules New York metropolitan area soccer!
The New York Red Bulls (10-6-6), in second place in the Eastern Conference behind DC United, made it three consecutive wins over New York City FC last Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where it all started back on May 10 with a 2-1 win; in this final game — which came on the heels of the second loss, a 3-1 defeat at Yankee Stadium on July 28 — Bradley Wright-Phillips, assisted by Jamaican international Kemar Lawrence, scored the winner in the 21st minute and got his 10th goal of the season. Midfielder Felipe scored the second goal in the dying moments of the game and Red Bulls goalkeeper Louis Robles recorded his 25th shutout.
Winning coach Jesse Marsch commented on sweeping the three-game, ‘Hudson River’ derby series and the significance of the rivalry: “… I think there is pride involved in the city. I’ll be straight, I think them (NYCFC) being in the league has been great for the city of New York and great for the league. I’ve never seen this city so alive with soccer. For actual local teams for people to be passionate about, for them to take sides, for them to attach themselves to the identity of whichever team they want to attach themselves to, it’s been awesome, man.”
Awesome is the right word; the rivalry is just what soccer fans in the city and surrounding areas needed. Area fans exhibited much passion for the game since NYCFC arrived on the scene to create the rivalry. The Red Bulls, though, had the edge all along because its seven-plus years head start on the first-year NYCFC. Most Red Bulls fans are New Yorkers who love the game and were drawn to the team because it was the only game in town, and were further wooed by the Red Bulls when French international star Thierry Henry arrived three years ago to play in red.
But NYCFC is a team with much promise; international stars David Villa, who played for Spain, former Italian international Andrea Pirlo and former England international Frank Lampard were kept in check last Sunday, but this won’t be for long. Eventually, NYCFC will begin to rack up wins, and it would become the New York hometown team and give New Yorkers more to cheer about.
Meanwhile, New York City FC coach Jason Kreis is a very, very unhappy man: “…Very frustrated with the third loss to any opponent. This is become a pretty heated rivalry very quickly and so we were really up for this game and I really thought we would have a better result.”
Kreis should take heart, as there are better days ahead!
The Los Angeles Galaxy (11-7-7) unleashed recent signing, Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos, on the MLS fans in Southern California last Sunday, and he responded by scoring a goal and creating an assist in the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders for its club record fifth consecutive loss. Former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Chad Barrett put Seattle ahead early in the game before Zardes tied the game just before the half. The Galaxy is now second in the Western Conference behind Vancouver Whitecaps, which defeated Real Salt Lake, 4-0.
Also in the Western Conference, Columbus Crew defeated Colorado Rapids, and Houston Dynamo topped San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1. In the Eastern Conference leader DC United beat Montreal, 1-0; Sporting Kansas City knocked off Toronto, 3-1, and Orlando City and Philadelphia Union played to a goalless draw.
The Caribbean Cup tournament at Jefferson Athletic Complex in Flatlands, Brooklyn is into its playoff stage and on Sunday, Aug. 16, Team Haiti takes on Team Trinidad and Tobago in the first game at 3 pm, followed by Team St. Kitts and Nevis versus Team Dominica at 5 pm. On Sunday, Aug. 23, Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines will go against Team Jamaica in the 3 pm contest, followed by Team St. Lucia versus Team Guyana.