NYCFC: Hudson River Derby Day is upon us.

NYCFC. NYCFC Supporters (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
NYCFC. NYCFC Supporters (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

The New York Red Bulls and NYCFC face off today in one of the biggest matches in the new rivalry in New York.

There are a lot of “rivalries” in New York. The Mets like to think the Yankees are their rival, but Yankees fans know that the Red Sox are their true nemesis. The Mets taking two out of three in the Bronx was their World Series this year because things have just been so bad.

The Giants and Jets play like twice a decade in games that actually matter against each other.

The Knicks and Nets are both so irrelevant right now it doesn’t even matter.

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The Rangers, Islanders and Devils may be rivals, but it has been years since they all squared up outside of meaningless regular season games.

The biggest and most heated rivalry in New York right now is easily the Red Bulls vs. NYCFC.

These teams do not like each other. Older sports fans complain about how the rivalries have changed in professional sports. Players are too friendly from AAU, or playing in tournaments growing up.

When The Hudson River Derby comes around, the atmosphere at either stadium is electric. Both supporter’s section bring out their inner hooligan, and wearing red or blue in the wrong place can lead to serious consequences.

Here is a scene from outside Yankee Stadium, home of NYCFC, in 2016. The visuals look more like a war scene than a league match between two teams. There are more cops than a Presidential escort. This is a true sports rivalry.


NYCFC’s inception came in 2013. To be more clear, this is when the team was founded, the Boys in Blue didn’t suit until 2015.

Regardless of whether or not NYCFC was fielding a team, the rivalry had started through the supporter’s group.

Red Bulls’ Empire Supporter’s Club, and NYCFC’s Third Rail, were trading insults on social media before NYCFC even had players.

Now that NYCFC has a squad, and is a competent team, the game often dubbed the “Hudson River Derby” has blossomed into can’t miss television. So far, the series is one-sided. The Red Bulls have beaten up on NYCFC over the majority of the rivalry.

However, NYCFC has climbed out of the gutter recently, to make the rivalry more exciting. The tally is 8-4-1 all-time, in favor of the Red Bulls.

The two teams are set to play on national television again Wednesday night and the stakes have never been higher.

The longest season  in professional sports (March through November) is finally coming to a close soon. The Red Bulls sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, with NYCFC directly behind them. One single point separates the two teams.

The atmosphere at Yankee Stadium will be something special. Over 400 Red Bulls supporters, and their front office will venture over to the Bronx Wednesday at 7:00 PM. The sea of blue will be in full force, and expect fireworks from both sides.

The players to watch are the obvious ones. Bradley Wright-Phillips and David Villa. Wright-Phillips is the name no City supporter wants to hear.

In 13 matches between the two teams, Wright-Phillips has netted 11 goals! That is a cause for concern in the Bronx.

Villa, entering the end of his career, will need to try to match the striking prowess of his red counterpart. In games like this, the biggest players need to have the biggest performance. This is for sure the biggest stage these teams will face until playoffs.

Even there, these two teams might need to go through each other. But, until that is set in tone, the only thing either New York club can do it take advantage of this match. Earn three points and send one squad and fan base home, broken and needing a miracle to win the East.

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This will be riveting sport. Quite frankly, this installation of the Derby is just the beginning of what will become one of the world’s most powerful rivalries, but that’s the best part.