New York City FC returns to the field on Thursday night with the first Hudson River Derby of 2020.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Back at It
It’s been a little over two weeks since City last took to the pitch at the MLS is Back Tournament quarterfinal but the Boys in Blue are ready to make their return to regular season play in more normal circumstances.
Although supporters won’t be present, the incentive for all three points in our sixth regular season match of the year will be there, with Red Bulls providing the opposition.
Both sets of players have been talking up the match in their pre-match previews, indicating that we could be in for a typically feisty return to play at Red Bull Arena.
There’s no doubt Red Bulls dominated this fixture in the early going, but NYCFC have turned the tide in a big way in recent years, closing the deficit in the all-time head-to-head.
In terms of MLS meetings, NYCFC have won four of the last eight (two draws and two defeats), including a memorable 2-1 come-from-behind victory in our last meeting which took place almost a year ago to the day of this latest matchup.
City have only ever won one league game at RBA back in 2017, but Thursday night could be a great time to change that…
Calm Heads, Aggressive Legs
Ronny Deila told reporters that Maxi Moralez will be a late decision in terms of involvement, while Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Gedion Zelalem have been ruled out with the injuries which kept them out of the climax in Orlando.
Whoever gets the starts, for City’s Norwegian Head Coach, it’s going to be a case of balancing aggression with street smarts to get the W.
Deila said: “The players know it. You can feel it also during the week that this is something special. It’s very important we have calm heads, but aggressive legs.”
It’s been even longer since Red Bulls’ last competitive fixture after they were eliminated in the group stages at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
28 days will have passed since Red Bulls’ last match by the time kickoff rolls around on Thursday night, however our hosts are above us in the Eastern Conference standings with seven points from their five matches.
NYCFC has just three points accumulated in the group stage win vs. Inter Miami, so will be hoping to add to that tally and move within a point of our local rivals.
Watch on YES
Ian Joy and Joe Tolleson will be back on the mics for Thursday’s match, providing the coverage for the YES Network.
Tune in from 6.30PM ET for the pregame show and let us know how you’re following along using the #NYCFC hashtag on your social media channel of choice.