It took a bit, but the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC are finally able to renew their rivalry for the first time in 2020.
As the league's regular season resumes, these two sides meet Thursday night in Harrison, N.J.
The halting of the regular season in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has made Tri-State fans wait for the first installment of the Hudson River Derby -- though this one will come without supporters in the stands. The Red Bulls (2-2-1, seven points) are 7-5-2 in the series but have just one victory over the past four meetings. Each won a home meeting in 2019.
The Red Bulls haven't played since their 2-0 loss to FC Cincinnati on July 22 in the final group-stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament, a result that knocked them out of the event. New York opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over Atlanta United, then dropped its next two.
"We have to be better, and we have to start by holding each other accountable and take responsibility," coach Chris Armas told the Red Bulls' official website. "We all want to win. We are used to winning. Anything less than that would be surprising to me."
NYCFC (1-4-0, three points) has not done a lot of winning, but it came through when it counted of late. After dropping their first four 2020 matches, New York City beat Inter Miami 1-0 to earn a spot in the knockout round of the MLS is Back Tournament. NYCFC then upset Toronto FC 3-1 before falling to eventual champion Portland in the quarterfinals.
After all that, New York City should feel confident heading into a rivalry match that hardly needs an extra means of motivation.
"This is something special," NYCFC coach Ronny Deila told MLS' official website. "It is very important we have calm heads, but aggressive legs. Finding the balance between calmness and aggression is going to be important."
It's uncertain if star NYCFC midfielder Maxi Moralez will be fit to play as he deals with a calf issue. He has three goals and three assists versus Red Bulls in his career.
The Red Bulls' Daniel Royer has just one goal this season, but he tallied twice in his squad's 2-1 home win over New York City last year.
--Field Level Media
Red Bulls, NYCFC ready to resume Hudson River Derby
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