McCarty, Red Bulls Still Consider DC Their Biggest Rival

by RUSS McKENZIE

With the electric atmosphere surrounding the Hudson River Derby matches last year, one has to wonder if the Atlantic Cup rivalry between the New York Red Bulls and DC United has lost it’s sheen.

For Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty, the answer is quite clear.

Absolutely not.

“I still think DC is our biggest rival,” Dax said after training on Tuesday. “The NYCFC games are fun, and you can definitely call them (derbies), but DC is still our biggest rival by far.

“It wouldn’t matter if we had zero points each, there is still going to be that fierce battle. It doesn’t matter where either of us are in the standings, it will always be one of the biggest rivalries in MLS, and we treat it like that every single time we play them.”

Friday’s matchup between New York and DC is just the latest chapter in one of the most storied rivalries in Major League Soccer. The Atlantic Cup matches have always proven to be hotly contested, and have produced some memorable moments for both sides. Thierry Henry’s laughing face at the RFK corner flag in the 2014 Eastern Conference Semi-finals comes immediately to mind. On the other end, so does the “Snow Bowl” playoff victory that ousted the Red Bulls from contention in 2012.

Head coach Jesse Marsch, a veteran of the LA Galaxy-Chivas rivalry, also recognized the weight of the DC-NY rivalry.

“It’s a huge rivalry match. You just can’t replace the history we have with DC, and the playoffs last year adds to that,” he said. “We know DC has had some mixed performances as of late, but we know that when we play them they’re going to give us their absolute best. That’s what makes the game so great, and we’re going to give our absolute best, too, so I think it sets up for a really good match on national television. Both sides will be really excited.”

Red Bulls creative engine Sacha Kljestan agreed with his coach.

“They’ve traditionally been a thorn in (our) side, we’ve knocked each other out of the playoffs for the last couple of years, so we know it’s always going to be a rivalry. We know it’s always a tough game when we play (at RFK).”

Last year’s matches featured a foul filled, physical match up that didn’t look quite play into the Red Bulls style of game. Despite dictating the physical nature of the games, DC was unable to pull off a win against Jesse Marsch’s troops. That streak extended to the playoffs. Marsch is confident that his players are prepared for the challenge.

“We know that when we play them, they’re physical,” he said. “They’re going to make it hard on us. They’re going to foul us a lot. When you play those types of games you have to be up for the challenge. You can’t think it’s going to be a pass around. You can’t think it’s going to be about making pretty plays. It has to be about grinding it out and making sure that you set the standard of the game in that way. We feel strongly that over time our football will establish itself.”


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  • Arenas kid

    Nope, it’s nycfc.
    Once nycfc gets their stadium and matured, it will definitely be nycfc.
    I don’t see the red bull stadium pack versus DC, only versus nycfc……….and Galaxy.

  • slowleftarm

    when is Metrostars stadium ever packed ? When is management going to address the attendance problem? nevermind the on field performances this year. What a mess !!!!
    for this GLOBAL SOCCER POWERHOUSE.

  • slowleftarm

    When are you going address your sad life angry Bill? Posing as people on a soccer blog? Come on.


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