CHICAGO – Tyler Adams’ first taste of the Hudson River Derby was a sour one.
The New York Red Bulls’ Homegrown midfielder got his first appearance in the rivalry – which the Red Bulls have usually gotten the better of thus far – in the June 24 2-0 home loss to New York City FC. It was the first time the newer club had taken a point out of Red Bull Arena.
After playing 35 minutes and contributing an assist in the MLS Homegrown Game in Chicago on Tuesday, Adams came off the field ready to turn toward this Sunday, his second meeting with NYCFC (6 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in the US; TSN2 in Canada) and the chance to rinse that bad taste out of his mouth.
“I think it’s an easy switch. You always get up for these big games like NYCFC,” Adams said. “Being at Yankee Stadium we’re going to have to again face adversity and go there and try to get a good result. Our last one against them wasn’t our best result but we’ve been on a good roll right now, so it’ll be easy to get back, get within the group. There’s confidence within the group, so we’re excited to be back.”
The Red Bulls haven’t lost since that defeat, winning four straight, while NYCFC is 2-2-1 since the win at RBA. Third-place NYCFC enters Sunday’s match two points ahead of the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference, but have played one more match.
While Adams has made himself a fixture in the Red Bulls’ starting XI – 12 starts including starting in that first Hudson River Derby – his fellow Homegrown Game teammates on the Red Bulls, Derrick Etienne Jr. and Evan Louro, have not faced NYCFC yet.
Etienne Jr., who has appeared in 12 games, starting two and tallying two assists, agreed with Adams that, if called upon, it wouldn’t be a problem going from the Homegrown Game Tuesday (where Etienne Jr. played 61 minutes) to a rivalry match on Sunday.
“I think it’s really easy, we came out here, we wanted to win and we want to go out there and win as well,” Etienne Jr. said. “Like Tyler said, we didn’t have a good performance, we didn’t get the win at home. We never want to lose at home, especially against them. So we’re going to go out there, we’re going to try to dominate and hopefully we can get a result there.”
Looking towards his second Hudson River Derby, Adams said he expected to be better than he had been last time around.
“I think when when you have guys on your team like Brad [Bradley Wright-Phillips], Sacha [Kljestan] that have that experience, they kind of set the tone, so you kind of try to follow in their footsteps,” Adams said. “The more experience that you get, getting minutes in these big games, you learn how to cope with them as the game goes on. But yeah, you always get up for these big games.”