Teams: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
Kick-off: 11:00 PM, Red Bull Arena – Harrison, N.J.
Where to Watch: Catch live action on DSPORT, this Saturday
Last Game Played: Jul 24, 2016; NY 4 – 1NYC
Season Goal leaders: New York Red Bulls– Bradley Wright-Phillips (8 goals), New York City FC – David Villa (10 goals)
New York Red Bulls hosts New York City FC in the first ‘New York Derby Rivalry Match’ of the 2017 MLS season on Saturday night. The match kicks off at 11:00 pm IST on Saturday, DSPORT will live telecast the match.
The New York Red Bulls defeated New York City FC 1-0 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup last week, but Saturday’s match at Red Bull Arena will be the first of three regular-season meetings between the two sides in MLS play this season. It’s a series where the MLS originals have dominated, winning six of seven matches across all competitions.
The Red Bulls will enter into Saturday’s game after a convincing 2-0 win over Philadelphia Union last weekend. NYRB, with 23 points, are at the fifth spot, only four points behind NYCFC who are at the third position in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls have won all three MLS games at home to New York City to date, including a 1-0 victory 12 months ago in the only regular season battle in New Jersey.
Interestingly, Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles has conceded 21 times this year, but he’s also third in MLS with 54 saves and has faced 77 shots, fourth-most in the league. Villa, meanwhile, is MLS’ most prolific shot-taker by far, having a go 67 times and putting 27 of those on the frame. If Robles has an off game, his side could walk away with nothing.
NYCFC Sean Johnson’s 1.25 average goals are certainly credible, and he leads Robles (1.33 GAA) by a narrow margin in that category. He’s faced 15 fewer shots than Robles this year, though – and his 66.1 percent save rate is four points off Robles’.
NYCFC’s defence is certainly outperforming the Red Bulls in terms of conceding opportunities – but Bradley Wright-Phillips, sixth in the league with 49 shots and putting almost 43 percent of those on a frame, is going to get his chances. Any lapse in goal could prove decisive.
New York Red Bulls
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – D Gideon Baah (broken leg – out for season); PROBABLE: D Connor Lade (knee injury); M Mike Grella (undisclosed injury)
- Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Luis Robles – Michael Murillo, Aurlien Collin, Damien Perrinelle, Aaron Long – Tyler Adams, Felipe – Daniel Royer, Sacha Kljestan, Alex Muyl – Bradley Wright-Phillips
Notes: After having their 19 game home unbeaten streak snapped by LA on May 14th, the Red Bulls have bounced back going unbeaten in their last two home matches (1W-1D). … Gonzalo Veron had two assists against Philadelphia last weekend, after only having one assist in his first 41 regular season MLS appearances. This season, the Red Bulls average 2.3 goals per 90 minutes played with Veron on the field (156 minutes). In the 1,387 minutes they have played without him and number falls down to 0.8 goals scored per 90 minutes played.
New York City FC
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – F Khiry Shelton (hamstring injury), M Maxi Moralez (calf injury), D Ronald Matarrita (undisclosed injury)
- Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Sean Johnson – R.J. Allen, MaximeChanot, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat – Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera – Rodney Wallace, Jack Harrison, Tommy McNamara – David Villa
Notes: NYCFC has lost two of its last three on the road (1W). In all three of NYCFC’s wins on the road this season they have scored at least two goals. … David Villa’s brace last weekend (off seven shots) was the 13th time he has scored multiple goals in an MLS game since joining the league. In eight of those 13 games, he required five or less total shots.