The New York Red Bulls' 7-0 domination of New York City FC on Saturday at Yankee Stadium was a seminal moment in that rivalry's history -- and not only because there's very little of it.
The New York Red Bulls’ 7-0 domination of New York City FC on Saturday at Yankee Stadium was a seminal moment in that rivalry’s history — and not only because there’s very little of it.
The “Hudson River Derby” embodies many of Major League Soccer’s least savory impulses. NYRB-NYCFC is slick branding and special-occasion hashtags, pundits calling it the league’s best rivalry after just three all-time meetings, superficial flash in the place of meaningful history, “fans” playing “hooligan” in the streets.
The Hudson River Derby is where the club owned by and branded after an Austrian energy drink company somehow feels like the more genuine rooting interest.
NYRB-NYCFC is also, mercifully, a soccer match, albeit a particularly one-sided version. The Red Bulls are now 4-0-0 all-time against its crosstown rivals, with a goal-differential that may take generations to bridge.
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Dax McCarty and Shaun Wright-Phillips scored twice on Saturday in The Bronx, with Alex Muyl, Gonzalo Veron and Gideon Baah adding one apiece. The Red Bulls scored off three corner kicks and a free kick, three goals prior to halftime and two in the final 10 minutes.
The match tied the league’s all-time record for margin of victory and felt like it could have been even wider.
Shared history isn’t something that can be forced, but a scoreline as memorable at Saturday’s is an actual, tangible foundation upon which to build.
– Sporting Kansas City-Real Salt Lake is, in many ways, the anti-Hudson River Derby: Organic, geographically nonsensical, just mutual disdain created by years of big-game showdowns.
These teams have traded public barbs and overly physical challenges for years, dating back to a brawl during a 2011 preseason game. And Salt Lake now has bragging rights for at least the rest of 2016, having gone into Children’s Mercy Park and emerging with all three points for the second time this season.
The defeat leaves Sporting reeling, having taken just five points out of its last nine games. RSL will take no small measure of pride in continuing Kansas City’s slide.
– Portland’s 4-2 victory over Vancouver on Sunday at Providence Park keeps the Cascadia Cup race interesting. A Whitecaps win would have taken them nine points clear of both the Sounders and Timbers in the rivalry-specific standings.
Instead, Portland flashed back to its free-wheeling, defensively fragile, pre-MLS-Cup edition. Four different Portland players found the back of the net, Darlington Nagbe netting the fourth on a perfectly placed free kick. But even then, having nearly coughed up a 2-1 lead earlier in the game, Portland still allowed Vancouver to pull a late goal back via a penalty kick.
The Cup resumes on July 17, when Seattle travels to Providence Park.
– The Cali Clasico was as fraught as ever, with L.A. and San Jose trading goals in the final seven minutes en route to a 1-1 draw.
Fatai Alashe netted the Earthquakes’ game-tying goal in the 87th minute on an assist from former Sounder Chad Barrett, a result that leaves Seattle six points out of the Western Conference playoff positions.
– Goal of the week: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls.
Though it had plenty of competition, Wright-Phillips’ first-half bicycle kick was the best goal of New York’s seven.
– Games to watch in the coming week: Toronto at New York Red Bulls (Saturday at 4 p.m. PST on MLS Live), L.A. at Montreal (Saturday at 5 p.m. on MLS Live), Dallas at San Jose (Saturday at 7 p.m. on MLS Live).
|New York City FC||17||1.31||13||4||4||5|
|New York Red Bulls||16||1.23||13||5||7||1|
|Orlando City SC||14||1.27||11||3||3||5|
|New England Revolution||13||1||13||2||4||7|
|Columbus Crew SC||11||1||11||2||4||5|
|Real Salt Lake||20||1.82||11||6||3||2|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||20||1.43||14||6||6||2|
|San Jose Earthquakes||19||1.58||12||5||3||4|
|Sporting Kansas City||17||1.21||14||5||7||2|
|Seattle Sounders FC||13||1.18||11||4||6||1|