New York City FC have maintained radio silence ahead of their much-anticipated showdown against the New York Red Bulls this weekend in Harrison, NJ.
In fact, until they released their match preview Friday afternoon, there have been zero mentions of the ‘Hudson Derby’ from the club all week long.
No tweets, no Facebook banter, no articles on their site.
As it turns out, that silence was intended.
While the Red Bulls have taken great joy in chiding their crosstown rivals with cheeky tweets and subversive messages within match stories, NYCFC have purposefully ignored the bait and taken the high road — leaving their fans to the banter.
“[NYCFC] are not really looking to play this up and manufacture it as a rivalry – our supporters will develop rivalries organically,” a well placed team source tells EoS.
“We have approximately 1,500 [fans] crossing the Hudson to go to the match. Our team knows that it’s an important game for the fans because of geography and they will play hard for those supporters.”
Speaking to Red Bull front office members this week, there certainly is an air of disappointment that the playful banter was not reciprocated. That didn’t stop the MLS ’96ers from continuing to focus on this weekend’s derby with videos, interviews — and yes — even more playful poking of their “noisy neighbors” ahead of the big match.
For NYCFC, that was never a part of their plans. An organization that is conscious and cautious of their image, doing so would go against the very close-to-the-vest culture they have developed in their short MLS existence.
Instead, they have chosen to stay above the fray — and let their team do the talking on the field.
Whether the Red Bulls like it or not.