ANALYSIS- The New York Red Bulls, fresh off a 1-0 win in the US Open Cup, welcomed NYCFC for the latest installment of the Hudson River Derby. New manager Troy Lesesne led the team to another 1-0 victory. Let’s take a closer look.
Hudson River Derby 22: Three Takeaways
Do You Know What You Started?
If one ever followed Sylvana Budesheim, you’d know that this writer was extremely reluctant to call this matchup a rivalry. It seemed contrived, more of a battle for hashtags and public sentiment. With the first results skewed clearly red, there was little else to say. An 11-3-8 record in favor of the Red Bulls in the eight years of NYCFC’s existence shows the efforts of City Football Group to make their MLS team more competitive. The Bronx-based team can even lay claim to an MLS Cup.
The expectations are often higher than warranted when matchday arrives. Was there going to be more dare, more excitement? Not really. Tallying only one shot on goal apiece in the first half, both teams offered little to the crowd. Cristian Casseres Jr. was visibly frustrated in the later half of the match. He paired up with substitute midfielder Wiki Carmona to threaten the goal moments after entering the match.
The Passion Ready to Explode
The magic of the Hudson River Derby usually involves local boys making good. Red Bull Academy product Omir Fernandez, Bronx-based for longer than the blue team, Fernandez opened the scoring for the home team. The Red Bulls have not often found themselves on the front foot in a game this season and used all their substitutes to keep it that way. The rejuvenated squad continued to assail the NYCFC goal, most notably by Cory Burke. Even with nine whopping minutes of second-half stoppage, RBNY held on.
OMG OMIR FERNANDEZ
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 14, 2023
Like the Way You Do This
It would be easy to say that happy days have returned at Red Bull Arena. Two wins in a row may be great, but they do not constitute a full turnaround. The Red Bulls are still in the Open Cup– NYCFC is not– so Lesesne has to worry about schedule congestion. Injuries continue to weaken the starting lineup, with the likes of Luquinhas and Lewis Morgan still sidelined. Three players will miss the next League match due to yellow card accumulation, including Captain Sean Nealis. Lesesne showed forward thinking by getting Hsssan Ndam and Peter Stroud minutes in the Derby. Look for them to feature against Toronto. While Lesesne hasn’t made any drastic changes, what he has done is clearly working. As Rhianna says, please don’t stop the music.
Read More: MLS Analysis of Hudson River Derby 22
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports of Omir Fernandez Headshot, on May 13, 2023.