HANOVER, N.J. – Ask the New York Red Bulls for their favorite memories from the NY Derby, and they give seven reasons why one match in particular sticks out.
Two years on, the cheers continue to resonate for the Red Bulls from their landmark 7-0 win over New York City FC on May 21, 2016, ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena (1:55 pm ET | ESPN – Full TV & streaming info).
The range of responses from the Red Bulls are not terribly surprising – that 7-0 win sticks out, as does the Sunday night tilt in 2015 that marked the first meeting between these two sides.
“The first-ever one. I wanted to score the first goal, I wanted to make that public. I wanted to score the first goal and I did. We won the first one. That obviously is No. 1,” forward Bradley Wright-Phillips told MLSsoccer.com.
“7-0 is a big one. I don’t think that will happen again in the history of the derby.”
Wright-Phillips had an infamous golazo in that seven-goal match, a bicycle kick he called a “Bradcycle.”
That win at Yankee Stadium was complete domination from the Red Bulls, sending the several thousand red-clad fans in the away supporters’ section into an absolute frenzy. The occasion was nicknamed "the Red Wedding" by Red Bulls fans, an homage to the infamous massacre scene in “Game of Thrones,” and memes of Sonny Corleone pulling up to the toll booth in “The Godfather” also became popular in the days after that match.
Head coach Jesse Marsch had a different perspective on rivalry moments that stick out. He remembers the big wins, certainly, but the losses carry their own weight.
“The losses stick with you too. The first loss [on July 3, 2016] we had hurt,” Marsch said. “What often you remember is the energy in the stadium, the energy of the game, the intelligence of the game from two teams that have a way that are committed to playing that way… to see which team is able to gain the edge on the day. And then some of the individual matchups. It’ll be another day like that. It’ll be fun.”
Marsch thinks Saturday’s match will make another memory in what is fast becoming a banner derby for the league, noting that NYCFC’s adoption of a pressing game this season could further dial up the intensity.
“I think it sets up to be one of the best ones yet, because I think New York City is a very good team; they challenge a lot of things that we do,” Marsch said. “It will be a scrappy game at times, because they’re not just focused on the ball as much as they were, they work hard against the ball.
“It’s a great combination for them to have and they’ve been very effective so far this season. It’s a chance for us to see exactly where we are at this point in the season. I feel like our team is in a good way and we’ll be ready for a big game.”
RBNY v. NYCFC Saturday @ 2pm ET at Red Bull Arena – Limited tickets available for the NY Derby starting at $40