Mehdi Ballouchy

New York City FC at New York Red Bulls: Facts & Figures

Jason Kreis doesn't browse his Twitter feed. He doesn't have Facebook. He seldom reads articles on his club on the internet.

So it's no surprise the New York City FC head coach hasn't become immersed in the hype of the rivalry between his team and the Red Bulls ahead of their first-ever meeting on Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena.

"From my point of view and from our point of view, frankly, I'd say we haven’t seen any hype," Kreis said. "Speaking to a guy who doesn’t read articles on the internet, doesn’t look at Twitter and doesn’t have a Facebook account, so perhaps all of this hype is out there and I don’t know about. I don’t feel much angst among our players just because we’re playing against a team that plays across the river from us because it’s the very first time we’ve played any of these teams."

While many of the supporter groups for both clubs have taken to social media ahead of the match, the New York City FC players aren't getting caught up in any build-up.

"For people who have played in this league a little bit, you understand that that stuff is for the media and fans," veteran defender Jason Hernandez said. "For the players it’s another match that’s going to be a great test. Obviously we’re going against a good team so we’re looking to prove ourselves against a quality team in this league."

A Brief History

Despite having never played a match against one another yet, New York City FC and the Red Bulls do have some history.

The Club selected Sal Zizzo with their ninth pick in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft and then traded him to the Red Bulls in exchange for Ryan Meara's season-long loan. Meara was drafted 31st overall by the Red Bulls in 2012 and started the first 18 matches of his career prior to being sidelined with a hip injury.

The match will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Mehdi Ballouchy, the only outfield player on New York City FC to have played for the Red Bulls. The Moroccan attacking-midfielder appeared in 51 Regular Season matches for the Red Bulls and was a valuable asset during his stint in Harrison, New Jersey. The Red Bulls were far superior when Ballouchy appeared as the team saw an uptick in points per game, goals scored per game, winning percentage, possession and passing accuracy in the final third.

 

With Ballouchy

Stat

Without Ballouchy

51

Games

11

22

Wins

2

16

Draws

7

13

Losses

2

83

Goals For

13

1.6

Avg. Goals For

1.2

65

Goals Against

15

1.3

Avg. Goals Against

1.4

43.1%

Win Percent

18.2%

1.6

Points/Game

1.2

54.7%

Possession

52.3%

64.0%

Passing Accuracy Final 1/3

62.7%

 

The connections between the two organizations go back even further. New York City FC assistant coach, Miles Joseph, was drafted by the then-named MetroStars and played with the club from 1996-2000. Defender Jason Hernandez was drafted by the MetroStars in the first-round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Ballouchy Converting

Mehdi Ballouchy has scored two goals on just six shots in MLS 2015 thus far, 33% conversion rate is top ten amongst players to have scored multiple goals thus far.

Player

Goals

Shots, Total

Shooting Accuracy

Shot Conversion Rate

Kitchen, Perry

2

3

100.00%

66.67%

Altidore, Jozy

4

7

85.71%

57.14%

Hollingshead, Ryan

2

4

50.00%

50.00%

Feilhaber, Benny

2

4

50.00%

50.00%

Martins, Obafemi

6

13

76.92%

46.15%

Dempsey, Clint

5

11

72.73%

45.45%

Morales, Javier

2

5

60.00%

40.00%

Pérez, Blas

4

12

66.67%

33.33%

Ballouchy, Mehdi

2

6

83.33%

33.33%

Opara, Ike

2

6

33.33%

33.33%

In just six appearances, Ballouchy leads NYCFC in chances created with 13 total and is one of just 16 players (minimum 6 appearances) in MLS 2015 to average 2.17 chances created per game.

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