MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, May 10th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Monday, May 11th)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – New York City FC 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls and New York City FC clash at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday night for the first ever New York derby in MLS history.

The Red Bulls come into the game against their newly formed rivals as strong favourites despite suffering their first defeat of the season away at New England Revolution last time out.

Jesse Marsch‘s side have won three and drawn four of their opening eight matches as well as still remaining undefeated at home and they currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on the teams above them.

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New York Red Bulls have been a joy to watch so far this season with some excellent, entertaining link-up play between the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips, Lloyd Sam and Felipe Martins. That’s not to mention how impressive both Mike Grella and Sacha Kljestan have been.

It seems unfair to name just a few as the whole squad have in-fact been outstanding, and when you consider that many were expecting the Red Bulls to struggle in 2015, it’s been a very strong start which shows they mean business.

To say that New York City FC’s start to life in MLS has been a struggle would be an understatement. They’ve managed just one win from their first nine games, drawing three and losing five.

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The numbers don’t make for pretty reading for Jason Kreis and his side and the 3-1 defeat at home to Seattle last time out was NYC’s third consecutive loss and the fifth loss in six games.

New York City are eight in the Eastern Conference coming into this game and whichever way you dress it up, they need to improve. And fast. A positive result in the first ever derby match would go a long way to silencing the early critics and laying down a platform on which to build upon.

It promises to be an exciting game and New York City will look to upset all the odds when they take to the Red Bull Arena field, but New York Red Bulls will be confident of inflicting more misery on the men in sky blue.

Team News

New York Red Bulls won’t be able to call upon Sal Zizzo for a few months as he recovers from a broken leg. There are doubts over whether defender Ronald Zubar will feature after he missed the last game with a hamstring injury.

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New York City will be without the injured George John and Tony Taylor as well as the suspended Kwame Watson-Siriboe. Javier Calle, Jason Hernandez and Adam Nemec are all doubts.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/W/D/D/L

New York City FC’s last five: L/D/L/L/L

Key Stat: Only Montreal Impact have scored fewer goals (5) than New York City (6) in MLS this season and the Impact have played four games less than NYC.

Key Player: Felipe Martins – The Brazilian has been excellent since joining from Montreal Impact and could provide the Red Bulls with the moment of magic that unlocks the NYC defence.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 New York City FC – New York Red Bulls haven’t lost just one game this season by fluke, but more because they’ve been impressive. New York City are really struggling and it’s hard to see how they can get anything from this one. With that said, it is a local derby which would suggest that form is irrelevant, although the Red Bulls should still brush them aside.

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New York Red Bulls roll dice in huge trade with Montreal Impact

The New York Red Bulls have finally brought someone in who can improve the side in 2015, but it has cost them two more players as Eric Alexander and Ambroise Oyongo have both been sent to the Montreal Impact in a trade for Felipe Martins and the top allocation spot in MLS.

Felipe Martins played under new Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch in Montreal during the club’s inaugural season in MLS in 2012, and the playmaker has scored 12 goals and picked up 24 assists with the Impact in 93 appearances over the past three seasons.

The Brazilian playmaker will add some much needed creativity to the Red Bulls attack following the departure of Thierry Henry, and Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis was thrilled to have acquired the 24-year-old.

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“We feel that this trade puts us in a great position,” Ali Curtis said. “Felipe gives us options going forward that will allow us to play the style of soccer that we want to play. He is the type of player that can make an impact immediately and be a part of our future.”

The deal for Martins saw Ambroise Oyongo and Eric Alexander leave New York for Montreal and both players immediately strengthen the Impact squad.

Oyongo is currently with the Cameroon National Team and at 23, was one of New York’s brightest young talents. While Alexander was a mainstay in the side over the past two seasons, making 81 appearances for the Red Bulls since 2013.

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He formed a solid partnership in the middle of the park with Dax McCarty last season and New York need to ensure they bring in someone to strengthen the midfield immediately.

That man could be Sacha Kljestan. The USMNT midfielder has been linked with a move to MLS all offseason and with the Red Bulls trading up for the top allocation spot, he could be one step closer to a stateside return.

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The 29-year-old is currently with Anderlecht, where he has 18 months remaining on his current deal. The Red Bulls need to act fast if they are to make Kljestan the latest USMNT star to return to MLS as the European transfer window shuts in less than a week.

“While we have a top target in mind, we are considering all options to make use of the top allocation spot,” added Curtis.

What do you make of today’s huge trade between the New York Red Bulls and the Montreal Impact?