Official NY Red Bulls Reporter // Social Media Manager
By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC

FT: 1-0

It’s strange to write this, but the New York Red Bulls have seven points and NYCFC have three going into this late August match. Usually, by this point in the year, there’s a lot of MLS already out of the way. Our favorite teams have risen and fallen in the standings, and we’ve seen our heroes do what they could. Usually, I have my season-long playlist well populated for you. But it’s different this time.

It’s not the way I planned it

The South Ward is populated by banners and scarves instead of cheers and songs. The press box has been moved clear across the arena. The seats on both benches are distanced. This is the new normal.

But the rivalry lives on. As forced as it was at the start, it has taken on life, and that is what we embrace.

Give me a sign

Once the players took a knee, the action began. The first fifteen minutes were quiet, with a lot of movement around the pitch. A save here, a free kick there. NYC seemed to have the upper hand, with a greater number of shots. As the teams reached the half-hour mark, there was a chippiness about the match born of desperation. Both teams want to be the first to score. Fouls came with warnings; at that rate, a yellow card could have been close behind.

Show me how you want it to be

But then, just like that, the halftime whistle blew and the players went through the tunnel. It gave me a chance to ponder the arena in what is arguably its most usual state– empty. Outside of Red Bull matches and the occasional international competition, one of the preeminent soccer-specific stadia in the US lays silent most of the year.

With the NWSL returning to play, Sky Blue will be able to return. And for lack of a better option, NYC will host matches here as well. There are rumors that two of the three Canadian MLS teams will rent field time in Harrison once the next phase of play begins. And perhaps they will, unless they won’t. But either way, more people making the trip to Harrison wouldn’t be so terrible.

You got me blinded

As if this game wasn’t strange enough, the opening goal (59′) was mind-boggling. Kyle Duncan’s ball took NYC keeper Sean Johnson off guard. Johnson popped the ball over his head and it bounced to the goal line. He appeared to grab the ball and slam it into the ground to clearly show it had not gone over the line entirely. Daniel Royer tapped it so it came out from under his hand and into the goal. It was initially called a foul at the line, but… (you remember this one…)


Upon further review, the ball crossed the line entirely before Johnson grabbed it. There was a brief celebration for the eventual man of the match, Duncan, and play went on. NYCFC tried to pull one back, but with their confidence renewed, RBNY was able to hold them off. The final whistle blew, and the latest installment of the Hudson River Derby went, once again, to the New York Red Bulls.

I must confess, I still believe

For the Red Bulls to come out of this with three points, I can’t help but be satisfied. It wasn’t a beautiful win, and it wasn’t a tactical thrashing. But in this surreal existence, it is enough. It won’t hold up as the season– such as it is– goes on.

The defenders looked to be on the upswing, including newcomer Jason Pendant. Manager Chris Armas praised him in the post-match conference, saying he “is so willing to learn” the Red Bull style of play. “This is a team built for transition,” Armas said. This may prove true in more ways than one, as new players enter the fold. But I’m ready for more, because it seems when I’m not with them I lose my mind.

Featured image: Sylvana Budesheim

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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