It’s become one of the best rivalries in Major League Soccer in just three years and every hotly contested derby encounter between the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC has been eagerly anticipated.
The fans have had their say, as have the players and coaches. Now it’s up to our esteemed panel of Senior Editor Ben Couch, New Media Editor Ben Baer and contributors Charlie Boehm, Bobby Warshaw and Dylan Butler to voice their opinion of the following question about Saturday's NY Derby (1:55 pm ET | ESPN — Full TV & streaming info).
Is Saturday's match more important for the Red Bulls or NYCFC?
COUCH: RBNY. After last year's derby donut, playing at home on national TV presents a big opportunity to not only reassert city dominance, but serve notice to the rest of the league that the East is at large. And also Red.
BAER: The pressure is always on the home team to get a win. So the easy answer for Saturday is the Red Bulls.
BOEHM: As Gotham's noisy newcomers, it's usually fallen on NYCFC to seize the initiative in NY Derbies, but I think this edition is a bigger occasion for the Red Bulls. The blue half of New York won last season's series and currently sit five places and eight points ahead of their rivals in the Eastern Conference standings – not to mention tops in the overall league table – so RBNY need to make a strong statement on their home turf.
WARSHAW: Neither. It's Week 10. This game doesn't change anything for either team in the long run.
BUTLER: For the entirety of this rivalry, that answer has been NYCFC, the new team looking to assert themselves against the established squad nearly 20 years their senior. But Patrick Vieira’s squad turned the corner a year with three games without a loss They took a further step forward in the early portion of 2018 by proving they are a legit MLS contender. The same can’t yet be said of the Red Bulls. A win Saturday would be huge for Jesse Marsch’s squad to prove they can be an elite East team.
RBNY v. NYCFC Saturday @ 2pm ET at Red Bull Arena – Limited tickets available for the NY Derby starting at $40