Hudson River Derby

Hudson River Derby
Other names New York derby[1]
Locale New York metropolitan area
First meeting May 10, 2015
(NYRB 2–1 NYC)
Latest meeting August 22, 2018
(NYC 1–1 NYRB)
Next meeting TBD
Meetings total 14
Most wins New York Red Bulls (8)
Top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips (12)
All-time series New York Red Bulls: 8
Drawn: 2
New York City FC: 4
Largest victory May 21, 2016
(NYC 0–7 NYRB)
Longest win streak New York Red Bulls (4 wins)
New York Red Bulls
New York City FC
Location of the two teams' stadiums in the New York metropolitan area

The Hudson River Derby,[2][3] also known as the New York derby,[1] is the name given to the soccer local derby between the two teams based in the New York metropolitan area, New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. First played in 2015, the rivalry between the two started almost as soon as the announcement was made of the formation of NYCFC in 2013.[4][5]

Early on in the rivalry's history, the Red Bulls dominated the fixture, winning the first four games in the all-time series including one 7–0. Since this game, however, New York City has gained traction in the derby, winning four of the last seven games in the season series (four out of eight in all competitions) and taking points in four of them (NYCFC had taken points in four straight league games). The teams do not compete for a trophy like many of the older MLS rivalries. This derby for the most part is contested for bragging rights of being the best side in the New York metropolitan area during the current MLS regular season.


New York City has a significant history with top level club soccer thanks to the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, the most successful team in that competition's history.[6] The success of the Cosmos, combined with New York's position as the most populous city in the United States, meant that it was inevitable that, when Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded in 1993, with play due to start in 1996, one of the founder clubs would play in the New York metropolitan area.[7] This club, initially named as Empire Soccer Club,[8] eventually started play in the 1996 MLS season as the NY/NJ MetroStars.

Since its start, MLS has engaged in a steady process of expansion from its initial ten clubs until 2010, when the league announced its intention to award its 20th franchise to New York City.[9] Unlike the MetroStars, which were renamed as the New York Red Bulls following the franchise's purchase by Red Bull GmbH in 2006, the plan for the second New York franchise was for it to play in the city – the MetroStars began their existence playing in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, before moving to a purpose built soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, Red Bull Arena.[10] The 20th franchise was eventually awarded in 2013 to a consortium of the City Football Group and Yankee Global Enterprises, with the new club being given the name New York City FC.[11]

New York City FC began play in the 2015 MLS season. The first league meeting with the Red Bulls was scheduled for May 10 at Red Bull Arena. The buildup to the game saw an increasing level of antagonism between both the clubs and their respective supporters groups, with the Red Bulls emphasizing their history from the start of MLS as opposed to the new club, while NYCFC pointing to the fact that they are the only club to play within the five boroughs.[12] The first meeting between the two, in front of a capacity crowd, saw striker Bradley Wright-Phillips score the first goal in a 2-1 win for the Red Bulls.[13] Subsequent to this game, there were two further league meetings between the teams, at Yankee Stadium and Red Bull Arena, both resulting in wins for the Red Bulls. NYCFC won their first game against the Red Bulls at the fifth time of asking on July 3, 2016 at Yankee Stadium.[14] During a 3-2 New York City FC victory, David Villa recorded the derby's first ever hat trick on August 6, 2017. [15]


A variety of supporters clubs and groups have grown around the Red Bulls since the team started. The first of these was formed in 1995, prior to the inception of the team itself, as the Empire Supporters Club. 2005 saw the creation of the New Jersey-based Garden State Supporters, now the Garden State Ultras (GSU). The 2010 season's influx of personnel with a Scandinavian background led to the creation of the Viking Army Supporters Club. The Red Bulls have designated some sections of Red Bull Arena as supporter specific. These included sections 101 for the Empire Supporters Club, 102 for the Viking Army, and section 133 for the Garden State Supporters. Sections 133, 101, and 102 are collectively known as the "South Ward".[16]

New York City FC's first official supporter group, The Third Rail, began to form after the club's announcement in May 2013, when fans met through social media, and through member drives and viewing parties for 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. It had registered 1,000 members by September 20, 2014.[17] Although the group operates independently from the club, it was recognized as the official supporter group and has received exclusive access to two sections in Yankee Stadium. Group president Chance Michaels said the name reflected the group's desire to "power NYCFC" the way the third rail powers the New York City subway system.[18] Since the team started, unofficial supporters groups have sprung up, including Brown Bag SC and Hearts of Oak.[19]

Even from the beginning of NYCFC's time in MLS, the rivalry between the supporters has been intense, with social media used extensively by both sets of fans to exchange insults and vitriol.[20] Following the first meeting between the two sides at the Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls cut the ticket allocation for away fans by two thirds for the next meeting at the venue, as a result of the behavior of NYCFC fans; NYCFC fans were equally damning of Red Bulls fans during their first visit to Yankee Stadium.[21] Prior to their third and final league meeting of the 2015 season, the first reported incident of violence between the two sets of fans occurred at a gastropub in Newark frequented by members of the Garden State Ultras.[22]


  Red Bulls Win   NYCFC Win   Draw

Summary of results

As of August 22, 2018
Matches RBNY wins Draws NYCFC wins RBNY goals NYCFC goals
Major League Soccer 126242613
U.S. Open Cup 220050
Total 148243113

Top goalscorers

As of August 22, 2018

As of August 2018 the top scorers for each side are Bradley Wright-Phillips (left) and David Villa (right)
Position Name Team Goals
1 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 12
2 David Villa New York City FC 5
3 Daniel Royer New York Red Bulls 3
4 Jack Harrison New York City FC 2
Dax McCarty New York Red Bulls
Thomas McNamara New York City FC
Maximiliano Moralez New York City FC
Gonzalo Verón New York Red Bulls
9 Gideon Baah New York Red Bulls 1
Vincent Bezecourt New York Red Bulls
Chris Duvall New York Red Bulls
Derrick Etienne New York Red Bulls
Felipe New York Red Bulls
Kaku New York Red Bulls
Sacha Kljestan New York Red Bulls
Aaron Long New York Red Bulls
Matt Miazga New York Red Bulls
Patrick Mullins New York City FC
Alex Muyl New York Red Bulls
Ben Sweat New York City FC
Florian Valot New York Red Bulls
Ronald Zubar New York Red Bulls

Players who played for both clubs

Player Red Bulls career NYCFC career
Span Apps Goals Span Apps Goals
Jason Hernandez 2005 5 0 2015–2016 59 0
Mehdi Ballouchy 2010–2012 59 4 2015–2016 25 3
Ryan Meara 2012–present 38 0 2015 (loan) 1 0

See also


  1. 1 2 Parker, Graham (May 19, 2016). "NYCFC rise, Red Bulls' fall have New York derby primed for fight". ESPNFC. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. "Fans of Red Bulls, NYCFC clash before Hudson River derby". Fox Sports. August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  3. Lawrence, Jesse (August 5, 2015). "Hudson River Derby Between NYCFC and NY Red Bulls Is Most Expensive MLS Ticket This Weekend". Forbes. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  4. Parker, Graham (May 23, 2013). "How will the 'other' New York team react to NYCFC?". The Guardian. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  5. Rosenplatt, Ryan (May 7, 2015). "Looks like the first Hudson River Derby will be a smashing success". Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  6. Litterer, David. "American Soccer History Archives". American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  7. "Soccer in New Jersey". New Jersey sports heroes. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  8. Parrish, Charles; Nauright, John (2014). Soccer around the World: A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 288. ISBN 978-1610693028. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  9. "MLS commissioner eyes possible New York franchise for 2013". May 7, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  10. "Picture-perfect opening for $200M Red Bull Arena in Harrison". Associated Press. March 20, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  11. "Yanks, Manchester City awarded MLS expansion team". May 21, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  12. Williams, Bob (May 6, 2015). "NYCFC v New York Red Bulls: A rivalry without an official name or history but already plenty of intensity". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  13. "New York Red Bulls v New York City FC". Major League Soccer. May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  14. "New York Red Bulls v New York City FC". The Guardian. July 3, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  15. "David Villa's 1st MLS hat trick lifts New York City FC to bounceback win". August 6, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  16. New York Red Bulls: Home: Home Archived March 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "1000!". Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  18. Wallerson, Ryan (September 4, 2014). "700 Soccer Fans and Counting: Fan Club Third Rail Builds Ranks". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  19. Martinez, Dave (April 3, 2015). "Ugly incident reveals deep rifts within NYCFC's budding supporters' groups". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  20. Clegg, Jonathan (June 26, 2015). "Red Bulls vs. NYCFC: A New York Soccer Rivalry Months in the Making". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  21. "New York Red Bulls cut tickets for NYCFC supporters". ESPNFC. July 14, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  22. Lewis, Brian (August 9, 2015). "NYCFC, Red Bulls fans have wild brawl outside Newark pub". New York Post. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
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