Savarese: Cosmos v. Red Bulls ‘definitely’ a derby

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke and Cosmos boss Giovanni Savarese surely have different definitions of what a derby is.

When asked if the Cosmos were a rival last week, Petke was quick to respond.

“If you guys want to create a rivalry, that’s one thing. We haven’t faced the Cosmos,” Petke said. “How can you have a rivalry when it’s a team not in your league that you haven’t faced?”

Savarese takes a different, simple, and arguably more worldly view of the situation.

“It’s definitely [a derby] when two teams from the same location, from the same city play each other,” he explains. “You call it the way you want to call it, but at the end, it’s two teams that will be able to compete. It happens in every city. You look at what happened in Madrid with the Champions league. They are special matches. You want to put your best players.”

That’s not to say the intensity of a derby can only be defined by the grandeur of the stage it’s featured on. Savarese pointed to his team’s match with the Brooklyn Italians as a prime example of a derby-style match-up. While the match featured two organizations with strong ties, the play on the field was ruthless, littered with hard-nose tackles and highlighted by a pair of red cards.

“These are derbies,” Savarese said. “That is what these games are about … Two organizations that have great tradition and you felt a beautiful atmosphere here at St. John’s in Queens. It was a success because it was a soccer festival tonight.”

Of course, the Italians played the minnow role to the Cosmos. Those roles will surely be reversed against the Red Bulls.

Not that Savarese minds, of course.

“We don’t have to prove anything to Red Bull,” the Cosmos boss said. “I think we just have to go play, do our game and that’s all.

“It’s not about first or second division playing [each other]. I think we represent a very important organization, which is one of the most renowned organizations in the world, definitely in the United States, and we’re just going come with the group we have to play another match. It’s another U.S. Open Cup [match] but definitely nothing to prove.”

While clad in green today, Savarese was part of the very fabric of the New York Red Bulls, and moreso, the Metrostars. The goalscorer reached legendary status amongst the team’s fanbase and continue his work with the Red Bull organization, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Red Bull Academy.

Despite his roots within the Red Bull organization, Savarese insists this match is not about him, either.

“It’s about growing the sport of soccer in this area,” he said. “I think it’s these kinds of games that will make the sport grow. The games that are called derby’s per say. That happens everywhere. It will be the first time two local teams can play in this area, professional teams, and it will be exciting.

“Look at it the way you want to look at it; these are two organizations that are professional, and I think it will be a great match. We are excited about it and I think New York needs these types of matches.”

  • The real Stan

    Can’t knock the man, stand up guy