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Keys to the Match: Derby Day

May 17, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC will host the first Hudson River Derby of the 2024 season.

City return to action in a 7:30pm ET kick-off at Citi Field.

Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford...

Step Up

"Everybody's good moment is right around the corner."

That has been Nick Cushing's message to his squad and it is one they have taken to heart. New York City has put in the miles this week with trips to Toronto and Philadelphia, and that has tested the depth of the roster considerably.

While Cushing and his staff take tremendous pride in the six points collected so far, they will have been just as pleased to see so many players step up for the team.

That shared belief that individual effort can equal team success has been vital for City across the last month, and it is a huge reason they have taken five wins from six games.

Against the Red Bulls, it will be vital that those called up - either as starters or substitutes - step in and step up to the challenge, with a potential win against our Hudson River rivals a great way to finish the week.

Derby Day

This game is the one most fans look for when the fixture computer releases the schedule at the start of the season.

New York City will take on the Red Bulls at Citi Field for the first time in the Club's history. That presents an exciting opportunity to make more fun memories against the Red Bulls.

While three points are on offer, the Hudson River Derby is about so much more than points, with local bragging rights also on offer to the potential victor.

City will be pushing for their second three-game winning streak of the season on Saturday during what has arguably been their toughest run of games on paper.

The players don't need extra motivation to try and secure a win in the first derby of 2024 - making Saturday's clash an exciting one.

New Faces

There have been some notable changes at Red Bulls since the last Hudson River Derby.

The club decided to sell Brazilian forward Luquinhas and in his place signed Swedish international Emil Forsberg from RB Leipzig. He was joined by compatriot Noah Eile, who joined from Swedish side Malmö FF.

Elsewhere, Head Coach Troy Lesene has moved on to D.C. United and has been replaced by former Hertha Berlin Head Coach Sandro Schwarz.

Schwarz has made some tactical tweaks to how the Red Bulls operate, with his side a less aggressive pressing team. As well as not pressing as high up the field, when the Red Bulls do recover the ball they are willing to be more patient in their build-up.

Those changes should make for an interesting tactical battle when the two sides meet on Saturday - a moment when Red Bull's new faces will see firsthand what the Hudson River Derby is all about.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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