Thoughts On NYCFC Ahead Of RBNY Match


As head coach Jason Kreis told members of the media after Friday’s practice, this Sunday’s New York Red Bulls encounter means more to New York City FC than just a rivalry match.

On the one hand, NYCFC needs a victory if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.  The club is currently four points out of the sixth and final playoff spot with just 12 matches remaining on the docket. And while those aren’t necessarily insurmountable odds, the constant state of flux within the NYCFC roster puts up yet another hurdle for the club to overtake if they hope to secure a postseason spot.

On the other, NYCFC is out for a bit of revenge. Kreis surprised many this week, labeling comments from several Red Bull players “crass” following the clubs loss at Yankee Stadium.  There wasn’t much to the comments themselves; the Red Bulls were crowing about their dominance, claiming NYCFC was limited to about 15-20 minutes of solid play in that encounter.

That certainly got under Kreis’ skin and he will use those words as motivation come Sunday.

Here are some thoughts on the team heading into the third and final Hudson River Derby encounter of the season.

Getting Acquainted

In essence, New York City FC are not only an expansion club — they are an expansion club, twice.

Kreis struggled to fit all his pieces together in the early going of the season and found a stride just prior to the summer months. However, a recent influx in talent — starting talent mind you — puts Kreis and NYCFC very close to square one. Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Andoni Iraola, Angelino and Jefferson Mena each represent a starting-caliber talent that forces Kreis to rethink his alignment.

Across the field, the Red Bulls have been the picture of stability. Even with newcomers Shaun Wright-Phillips and Gonzalo Veron on board, the team has made it clear — the current starters have first dibs on continuous minutes.

That recognition and consistency is the biggest factor playing into the Red Bulls’ hands.

Frank Lampard

New York City FC’s newly arrived DP suffered through fitness issues in his long awaited debut against the Montreal Impact, falling into the background of an otherwise competitive matchup.

He will be looking to make a bigger impact this week. The beloved Chelsea star has trained in full all week with the club, and has hopes of starting this weekend.

Lampard looked sharp and active in training but how that translates to the game is yet to be seen. The attacking midfield star has eyes on starting minutes with the hopes of taking part in the final Hudson River Derby encounter.

Tightening The Defense

Since shutting out Toronto FC on June 20th, NYCFC have allowed an average of 2.5 goals a match in six encounters. In fact, the worst of their defensive woes have come in recent matches with the club allowing over three goals in three of their last four encounters.

Much of that has to do with the merry-go-round atmosphere of the starting back four. Shay Facey has been the team’s most consistent defender. Angelino has shown well in his limited time as well. However, veteran Jason Hernandez has been spotty since returning from injury and newcomers Andoni Iraola and Jefferson Mena have struggled to adjust to their new home and the nuance of a new league.

Part of the issue has literally been communication. Neither Mena nor Iraola have a strong command of the English language. Puerto Rican Josh Saunders, in turn, doesn’t speak much Spanish. That has caused headaches in key moments, particularly for the oft-vocal goalkeeper.

And Finally …

Mix Diskerud. The player has become a divisive figure amongst fans and pundits alike who struggle to understand the role of the enigmatic 24-year-old. Diskerud certainly has become a valuable member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, performing well in international duty but struggling to find his place domestically. This Sunday’s Hudson River Derby is the perfect opportunity to make his stamp on the club in front of a national audience.

  • 18,277!!!

    Watching NY Cosmos Bs v Chattanooga in NPSL Final. Attendance = 18,722!!!

    That is amazing and great news for American soccer.

    Well done NPSL.

  • The realist

    Frank Lampard was gassed after the 15th minute. He is a fat, slow SOB.

    • Anonymous

      But he’s so cool!!! Remember those 9/11 jokes?! What a hip dude! Now…where did I put my ironic skinny jeans,flares,craft beer and gearless bike? I’m so cutting edge! I’m hip! I’m a boy city fan! It’s time for a tattoo!

      • The realist

        They’re a slow, old team that can’t attack or defend wide.

        Pirlo was a complete non-factor.

        The only guy with any stamina is Mcnamara.

        Somewhere Nick Chavez is weeping.

  • george naj

    get out your brooms!

    • Smith

      Maybe its time for Nick Chavez to issue another Call to Arms!!!!!!

  • the realist

    NYCFC fans acting like morons:

    I guess this is what these transplanted Ohio and Michigan folk think either “real” soccer fans or “real” New Yorkers are supposed to act like.