As we all know about this wonderful city and area that we live in, there is no shortage amount of chatter when you talk about your teams and when your favorite sides that play in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County on Long Island or even in Newark, NJ since Northern NJ & Southern Connecticut are attached to the most famous city in the world.
Plenty of smack talk has been bantering around every year as the Mets & the Yankees now have their interleague games, the Rangers & Islanders along with the Devils banter around their NHL seasons, the Knicks & Nets have a closer rivalry now that the Hudson River Vagabonds have settled into Brooklyn. This NFL season the Jets & the Giants will face each other in their once every four years match up at Met Life Stadium.
But something new has been added. For the first time since the LA Galaxy, Chivas-USA rivalry that has failed miserably and not become what it was suppose to be, it seems that the first season of NYCFC has started to take shape fan wise but the results haven’t been there to start the season. While the Red Bulls are having a surprising start to the season going unbeaten in their first seven then earning their first loss of the season at New England last week, you can throw out the record books when two New York sides are fighting against each other.
“This is a huge game for me, for the club and for the league” said Long Island Native Mike Grella, “It should raise the profile for the NY area. It’s such a big game and promoting soccer so it should be celebrated in New York. Being the native New Yorker, it’s pretty amazing how the direction of both clubs are going. My family are excited about this & it should grow to become a big rivalry.”
But if you talk to Bradley Wright-Phillips who comes from England, everyone knows what those types of rivalries games or darby games when you have both Manchester sides at each other, the different London teams that have the bragging rights from the fans and other historical rivals that have been around since the game was created.
“The one that stands out to me when I was younger at Manchester City I was playing in the Manchester darby, wasn’t with the side for long but that atmosphere was incredible and it was something special to be apart of.” But now what does it mean to be involved with a darby between New Yorkers? “If you look around the world where the leagues are respected and have massive darby’s this league should be no different with a city like New York, it’s a no brainer.” And now with social media involved does the chatter get greater between the rival fans? “It’s been crazy. All I’ve seen on twitter is the hashtag line #NYisRed, can’t say what was said, I’ll reserve it for the late night special. The fans are so excited and they can’t wait to get here.”
But as we all know the fun and games will be on the field and for Jesse Marsch it’s trying to contain David Villa who will be back in the starting lineup for Jason Kreis as the results have not been kind to the upstart side wearing Manchester City Blue. “When you talk about them and having (David) Villa, they are a much different team than without him. We need to be ready to face them with him, but he isn’t just the main focus because their results haven’t shown how improved they have been.”
And where will the main focus be in this battle against NYCFC? “The focus will be in the midfield as it looks like Mix Diskerud and Sacha Kljestan are the same type of player that can run the game plan and go a little bit harder, it’s not just the quality it’s also the mentality of the player as well.”
So as the city of New York experiences the first League rivalry game as we remember last season that the Cosmos & Red Bulls faced each other in the US Open Cup, this should be a heck of a start to this NY Hudson River Battle, but if NYCFC fails into the Chivas-USA 2 Category, then Don Garber has some serious explaining to do.