On Sunday, Domènec Torrent got his first taste of the Hudson River Derby as his New York City FC side welcomed Derby rivals, the New York Red Bulls to Yankee Stadium for the first time this season. In the previous two meetings this season, prior to Domè's arrival, RBNY thrashed NYCFC by a scoreline of 4-0 on both occasions.
However, Sunday was different, thanks to a tactical change from Domè, NYCFC avoided the high press that the Red Bulls are notorious for and picked up three points over the red side of New York for the first time this season.
In a fixture that normally produced a lot of goals and overall general excitement, the first half was a bit of a snoozer. The few chances created for either side were half chances, at best. However, in the 43rd minute, Kaku led a counter-attack for the visitors. With Daniel Royer and Bradley Wright-Phillips ahead of him, the break was dangerous.
Fortunately for NYCFC, Sean Johnson came to the rescue as Kaku took the shot on himself from about 23 yards out and the NYCFC #1 pushed it to the side. Alex Muyl came running in for the rebound but Alex Callens blocked the shot and a few extra bonces led to an NYCFC goal kick.
NYCFC's biggest chance came in the dying seconds of the half as a set piece routine nearly saw NYCFC head into the break with a 1-0 lead. Maxi Moralez's long free kick was played short to Alex Ring who dinked a ball into the box. Jesus Medina separated himself from the pack and chested it down to Maxime Chanot. Unfortunately for NYCFC, the defender's shot went inches wide of the goal.
The two sides went into the break scoreless with NYCFC playing a different style of play to normal and RBNY not being allowed to show off their impressive pressing system because of it. Surely things would open up in the second half.
The second half certainly livened up a little bit, especially in the last half hour of the match. In the 65th minute, Kemar Lawrence sent in a low drive which was likely meant to be a cross but would have snuck into the near post if not for an impressive reaction save from Sean Johnson.
A similar scenario came just under a decade of minutes later when it was Tyler Adams who sent in a low drive. This one, hit more cleanly, forced Johnson into pushing a rebound back in front of his goal. Kaku came flying in with nobody tracking him through the midfield but his volley attempt went wide of the goal and the deadlock remained unbroken.
Jonathan Lewis' entry was felt immediately as he arrived on the field in the 76th minute, and in the 77th minute, he created a big chance. His nifty volleyed backheel fell to Jesus Medina whose right-footed shot forced Luis Robles into a diving save. However, his biggest impact was yet to be made.
In the 85th minute, Tyler Adams played a routine backpass to Aaron Long, which ended in an NYCFC goal. Jonathan Lewis' fresh legs ran past Long, picked up the ball and slid it in front of goal to a wide open Maxi Moralez who slotted home the late winner. With that goal came three points as the final whistle came not long after and the blue side of New York were named victors on the day.
NYCFC remain at home for two more games following Sunday's Derby win before heading on the road for a pair of matches. To start, they'll host the Montreal Impact midweek. Just four days later, they'll return to Yankee Stadium to host the Columbus Crew. Then, the Boys in Blue will get on the road and face fellow 2015 MLS expansion side, Orlando City SC. Wrapping up the month of July, NYCFC will visit a struggling Seattle Sounders.
After Sunday's loss, RBNY will return home to host a strong Sporting Kansas City side before hosting the New England Revolution. Then, RBNY will face Wayne Rooney and D.C. United at Audi Field before returning home and hosting the Columbus Crew.