A rivalry which has quickly become one of the most entertaining in MLS opened a new chapter on Saturday when the New York Red Bulls hosted New York City FC. Since the infamous 7-0 for RBNY nearly two years ago, NYCFC has lost just once to their rivals in MLS play.
Early in Hudson River Derby history, it was the Red Bulls who enjoyed the fixtures the most but has since shifted in favor of the new boys on the block. Will NYCFC continue the current pattern or will the Red Bulls turn things in their favor for the first time since July of 2016?
It was a very quick start for the hosts as the Red Bulls took a lead in the 2nd minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips' shot was stopped by a strong Sean Johnson hand but Kaku was left open at the back post and has the simplest of jobs to tap it into the empty goal.
The lead was doubled in the fourth minute through Florian Valot's deflected shot which beat Sean Johnson. The hosts continued to dominate and they had a chance to make it three and put the game out of reach at the half-hour mark. Tyler Adams' pressing gave BWP a chance for his first of the day but Johnson came up with a huge save on the Englishman.
Fortunately for the Red Bulls, BWP tucked his next chance away as he floated in between defenders and knocked in a header from a Kaku cross to make it 3-0 in the 35th minute. That scoreline held until halftime and the hosts went into the break with a three-goal lead.
A couple of changes saw NYCFC have the first big chance of the half. Luis Robles was called into action as he pushed the ball into David Villa's path who crossed it into a wide open Jesus Medina. However, the young Designated Player's header went over the crossbar.
NYCFC continued to dominate the opening moments of the second of the half as some good linkup play between David Villa and Maxi Moralez resulted in a 56th-minute corner which resulted in a header from Yangel Herrera which went over the crossbar.
NYCFC's captain attempted a chip shot which beat Luis Robles but didn't find the back of the net as it went just wide. El Guaje later realized he was a step offside and the flag had gone up.
Derrick Etienne Jr. made it 4-0 in the 79th minute as he rounded the NYCFC keeper after some poor defending from the visitors. The homegrown will always remember this one as it was his first in Red Bull Arena to really ensure NYCFC could take no positives from the game. The Red Bulls finished off the game calmy giving them a 4-0 win and returning to winning ways vs NYCFC in MLS play for the first time since 2016.
For the Red Bulls, they'll be back on the road after hosting NYCFC on Saturday. First, they'll stop at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids before heading to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Atlanta United. Finally, they'll cap off the month of May at home as they host the Philadelphia Union.
Saturday's visitors will head to the west coast for a big game against LAFC where the new expansion side will host their third ever game at Banc of California Stadium. They'll then return home to host the Colorado Rapids before heading down south to play the Houston Dynamo.