Sweat: Intensity is Key

Ben Sweat POTM

Ben Sweat wrote his name into Hudson River Derby folklore in his first meeting with Red Bulls in June.

The Floridian defender assisted Jack Harrison’s opening goal before coming up with the game-clinching second himself to earn NYCFC a first-ever win at Red Bull Arena.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the 25-year old has been a revelation in his first season in New York, nailing down a regular starting berth and producing consistently high level performances in defense.

Signed in the offseason following a successful trial, Sweat has made 14 appearances so far in 2017 and is likely to start his second derby of the MLS season on Sunday.

It’s a huge occasion for both sets of players, staff and fans but for Ben the key to victory will be to stick to Patrick Vieira’s gameplan and to bring the requisite energy and intensity to the match.

He told “Nothing changes. All the games that are coming up are big games and Patrick’s making sure we’re all prepared and ready for it, all the guys starting and all the guys not starting.

“It’s another game, the same mindset, same mentality – our confidence in our style of play isn’t going to change going into the game on Sunday.”

Although NYCFC will treat it like any other game, Sweat admits there will inevitably be an extra edge to the game, seeing as it pits local rivals together.

We saw that intensity in New Jersey and Ben believes it will be no different in this Sunday evening clash in the Bronx.

“It’s another derby game and you know that going in there – you know it’s going to be a good, half-fought match,” he emphasized.

“Everyone is going to play with a little more edge. Other than that, we’ve got to come in and match the intensity and energy and I’m positive that if we do that we’ll come out on top.”

NYCFC are unbeaten in seven home games going into this eighth all-time Hudson River Derby and this advantage could be key, according to Sweat.

He added: “You always want to play at home in front of your fans – it makes it a little easier coming into the game. I really think it’s going to give us the energy and the passion to come out on top.”

READ: Nine Reasons to Attend NYCFC vs Red Bulls

Sweat: Intensity is Key -