NEW YORK — After one rough derby match midweek left them feeling underwhelmed, the New York Red Bulls are hoping to bounce back against their oldest and deepest rival this weekend when D.C. United visits Red Bull Arena for another Heineken Rivalry Week fixture (Sunday, 7 pm ET | FS1 - Full TV & Streaming Info).
It won’t be an easy task physically or emotionally for a Red Bulls side that got all the breaks on Wednesday night but took just a single point from the NY Derby.
A 1-1 draw against New York City FC on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium wasn’t necessarily a bad result for the Red Bulls, who linger just behind Atlanta United in the race for the Supporters' Shield. But having scored first and then finishing the match up two men, the Red Bulls feel that they should have gotten more from the game then a splitting of the points.
Now with a home match against D.C. looming, there is really no time to hang collective heads or dwell on a dour second-half performance against NYCFC.
“I think, during the season, and overall in the last [few] years, we’ve always shown a good character in terms of bouncing back,” attacker Daniel Royer said afterward. “We have to recover really quick, the weeks are really intense right now. But I think everyone can’t wait for the weekend game. We have to have a better game.”
United come into the match a team vastly different that which lost to the Red Bulls 1-0 at Audi Field on July 25. They are 4-0-1 since that loss, having scored multiple goals in four of those five matches.
Dating back to 1996, the original New York-D.C. rivalry might have been the most heated in the league and continues to be a contest that both fanbase circles when the league schedule comes out. The recent playoff history between these two sides has only helped stoke the flames of a rivalry that most Red Bulls supporters will say is actually deeper and more meaningful than the one they just played.
Even so, Wednesday’s fixture was obviously emotional for the Red Bulls. In front of a large and raucous crowd at Yankee Stadium, the match had plenty of confrontations and rugged physical play. And the challenge is moving on after gaining only a point from a game in which they got nearly all the breaks.
Midfielder Tyler Adams is confident his side will rise to it.
“No, it won’t be tough to regroup at all," he told MLSsoccer.com. This is a team with such positive energy and I think now we go into training and we regenerate as quickly as possible. We have to turn the page quickly. A team on the rise in D.C. It’s going to be a tough one. It’s nice to go back home now after a couple games on the road. Now we look to get three points on the road.
“I think that for us, it was nice that we went down there, in their new stadium, and able to take three points from them. I think they’re going to look to do the same thing now that they’re hot and come into Red Bull Arena.”