New York is Blue, NYCFC Wins the Derby
By JJ Pavlick
The atmosphere in the Bronx was electric between Hudson River rivals New York Red Bulls and the New York City Football Club. The league assigned center referee Allan Chapman to the match which was a perfect pick. The man demands respect from the players and uses his voice more than his pockets to keep the game in line. Coming into the derby match he had a league-low average of 3.23 yellow cards per match.
City wasted no time getting the action started earning a corner kick forty seconds into the match. The men in blue took the corner kick quickly crossing the ball into the box where Santiago Rodriguez flicks the ball over Red Bulls defenders right onto the head of Alexander Callens less than a minute into the game for the game-winning goal.
New York City FC midfielder Rodriguez was putting on a ball-control display, breaking down Red Bull players at will and creating dangerous moments as well. Ten minutes later the NY Red Bulls had their best chance of the match to draw even. Off a poorly played ball by Tayvon Gray of City FC, Lewis Morgan of the Red Bulls plays a cross into the box where Sean Johnson misplayed it, and it found Elias Manoel wide open in front of the goal. However, Alexander Callens made an amazing save in front of the goal, stopping the sure-to-be goal from beating Johnson and tying the game. It was a monumental moment in the game, as ten minutes later Santiago Rodriguez dusts Aaron Long in front of the goal, burying the well-placed cross from the corner kick taken by Gabriel Pereira. New York City FC went up 2-0 and never looked back. The Red Bull would have one more grade-A chance before halftime when Tayvon Gray miss played another ball in his end, this time 18 yards from goal, Caden Clark of the Red Bulls dispossessed him and played a low-driven cross to the top of the box for a wide-open shot by Cristian Casseres Jr., whose shot is deflected just wide of goal by Keeper Sean Johnson. The Red Bulls would take the corner kick quickly and find Aaron Long open in front of the goal, but his header would hit the post and bounce to a wide-open Elias Manoel who makes buried the shot into the back of the net. However, VAR (Video Assistant Referee) would alert Chapman to take another look, the ref didn’t need much time to review the play and quickly waves the goal off and makes the call for offside. The game stays NYCFC 2 - NY Red Bulls 0.
New York City FC dominated the 1st half of the derby and looked like the better side heading into halftime. During halftime, Greg Berhalter revealed the tentative 26-man roster for the United States Men’s Soccer team heading into the final friendly matches before the World Cup in Qatar starting in November. The Roster is as follows below:
Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/England), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal/England)
Reggie Cannon (Boavista/Portugal), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/Scotland), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/Italy), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/England), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/Belgium), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles FC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/England), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/Spain), Weston McKennie (Juventus/Italy), Yunus Musah (Valencia/Spain), Malik Tillman (Rangers/Scotland)
The Red Bulls had their opportunities in the 1st half but couldn’t capitalize on them. Long missed 2 wide-open headers, Manoel was called for Offside, and then there was the robbery seen -round the world, Alexander Callens taking away a sure goal for Manoel. If Red Bull wants to get back into this match, they will need to quickly solve Cities midfield fast and avoid surrendering any more corner kicks to the City side. NYCFC is already 2 for 4 on their corner kicks in the match and the other 2 corners didn’t miss becoming goals by much.
The second half didn’t see much action as NYCFC maintained possession and controlled the tempo as they did in the first half. The Red Bulls did have a few golden chances, but they were wasted with poorly aimed headers and 2 shots still in orbit as you read this article. The match ends in the 95th minute of play with NYCFC taking the derby with a 2-0 win.
The Man of the Match was awarded to Alexander Callens for the highway robbery he committed on Manoel to keep the lead for City FC that he also established in under 60 seconds from kick-off. Santiago Rodriguez was a very close 2nd either player could’ve been awarded the MOTM, and no one would’ve complained. Both had stellar performances for the City, dominating the game. As for the Red Bulls, they had their moments, just never making the most of them. Some sloppy defense by Aaron Long led to both of City FC’s goals and other chances. The Red Bulls will look to bounce back on the road against Columbus on October 1st at 7:30 p.m. ET. NYCFC will play again on October 2nd at 1 p.m. hosting Orlando City SC at Red Bull Arena, NOTE this is due to a schedule change.