Through a Lens: NYCFC-Red Bulls

David Villa, left, scores his first ever MLS hat trick. Bradley Wright Phillips, right, also put in two goals for the Red Bulls. Photographs by Matt Kremkau

By MATT KREMKAU

BRONX, N.Y. — In the third match up of the year (including the U.S. Open Cup,) New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls faced off  in a tense and exciting game on Sunday night. For the only time in the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season, the Red Bulls traveled to Yankee Stadium to face their Bronx rivals. With a sold-out crowd of more than 33,000, fans witnessed a game that was more like a battle between the team’s stars, Bradley Wright-Phillips and David Villa, rising to the occasion.

David Villa scored a hat trick, Wright-Phillips had two goals. With all the talk of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) starting in MLS for the first time last weekend, it was not used during the match. Perhaps it should have been? Referee Baldomero Toledo called 40 fouls (25 against the Red Bulls), which often disrupted the flow of the game. Being so close to the action on the field taking photos, you witness a lot of gamesmanship from both teams. Cheap shots in, pulled jerseys, clipping the back of legs, which most people may not see. The chippy play led for a frustrating match for this photographer.

NYCFC won the game, 3-2, on David Villa’s penalty kick. The penalty kick resulted in a second yellow card for Sal Zizzo, who was sent off. He will have to miss Saturday’s match against Orlando City.

With two straight wins over the Red Bulls, NYCFC has injected new fire into a budding, contentious rivalry. The next match, at Red Bull Arena on Aug. 25, is going to be one of the most anticipated of the year. As the players always say on twitter after the game, “Onto the next one!”

Here’s a some of my favorite images:

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Referees march out for the opening kick. It didn’t take them long to call their first fouls and dish yellow cards.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Sal Zizzo of the Red Bulls during the opening minutes of play. His second yellow/red card led to the game-winning goal for NYCFC — David Villa’s penalty kick, his third goal of the game.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

David Villa of NYCFC goes down after a foul by Felipe Martins of the Red Bulls. Starting to think these two don’t like each other.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Luis Robles had his hands full on Sunday. He also did not take many goal kicks, if at all, on Yankee Stadium’s makeshift turf.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Robles tries his best to stop David Villa on this breakaway Villa’s shot went wide.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Not to be outdone, Bradley Wright-Phillips temporarily put his team ahead, 2-1, in the second half.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

David Villa scoring his third goal of the night on a penalty kick. Not pictured — a second before the play, Felipe is pointing to the corner where Robles would eventual fall toward. Some days the action is all nearby and some days it isn’t.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

Disappointment on his face, New York Red Bulls Coach Jesse Marsch after his team’s four-game winning streak was snapped Sunday night.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

New York City FC Coach Patrick Vieira after his team’s second-straight league victory against the Red Bulls. The next edition of the Hudson River Derby will be on Aug. 25.

 

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

It was all smiles for David Villa as he entered the dugout with his son.