KO Combo: Kljestan, BWP thrive vs. New York City FC

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

HARRISON, N.J. – Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips have excelled in the Hudson River Derby, playing at a self-described “high level” for what is quickly becoming one of the biggest rivalries in MLS.

“I think back to when I played with Chivas against the LA Galaxy, Landon Donovan always seemed to show up for those games,” said Kljestan when explaining his outburst of production during this rivalry. “In this series, I just think that Brad (Wright-Phillips) and I have played at a high level. We’ve been up for every game.”

A high level indeed. In six games, Kljestan and Wright-Phillips have combined for eight goals and eight assists, shredding NYCFC and leaving the rivalry at a lopsided 5-1 advantage for the New York Red Bulls. Both players combined to threaten NYCFC throughout the evening, with Kljestan pulling the strings from midfield and Wright-Phillips engaging defenders on dangerous runs in the box.

“You watch Arsenal vs. Tottenham and you see what it means to the players and the fans,” said Wright-Phillips when discussing the atmosphere of the rivalry. “It means a lot to me. I want to score in this game and I want to play well.”

Even the opposition couldn’t help but acknowledge the high level of play shown by the Red Bull’s two biggest producers. Despite NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira’s complaints about Red Bull tactics off the field, he spoke with praise of Wright-Phillips and the effectiveness of the team when given the space to produce.

“Bradley is a good player,” said Vieira after the game. “We knew how good he is and he confirmed the quality that he has.”

  • troy

    Oh they weren’t singing over there, no. I thought it was hilarious that the only discernible chant the NYCFC fans could muster was a pathetic “Eff the red bulls” when they were already getting their behinds handed to them. Loved it!

    They are so demoralized that even their coach was mind-effed. Marsch made some comment about Viera not being in the coaching box and the guy flew off the cuckoo’s nest about it.

    • Smith

      As a general statement, their fans are morons who know nothing about the game, like to be seen in Lampard jerseys, grew up in Ohio and were beating it out of the stadium like it was on fire after BWP netted goal # 4. Morons one and all.

      • Nick Chavez

        You just don’t understand. We REAL New Yorkers have to commute all the way back to Connecticut. It’s a long ride.

        In addition, the question isn’t whether we won or lost but how many Lampard jerseys we sold and how hip, happening and now we are as fans.

        So there!

        • THe MIz

          well u just proved the point about the “moron” part

      • Brian

        Morons? Really?

        • Smith

          Okay. How about hipster doofus jackasses instead? Is that better?

      • Some Guy

        There is some truth to this but I think that is more the exception than the rule. Mostly, I think they are just regular people that like a different team from the one you like. What even is a hipster? I get the impression that it’s a blanket term for anyone under 30. If you come back with some exaggerated description about gluten free vegans in tight fitting clothing that only listen to Madonna and ride miniature skateboards, then I’m going to tell you that I have never encountered anyone like this ever.

        Anyway, if a lot of these people are new to MLS, why would they ever even consider supporting the Red Bulls when their fans seem to be such a smug and condescending bunch of bitter jerks that don’t want to see any new faces in the stands?