New York City FC can solidify their playoff positioning and put a damper on the New York Red Bulls' hopes when they visit their rival in the first of consecutive Hudson River Derby matchups on Wednesday.
New York City (11-8-5, 38 points) ended a seven-game road winless streak Saturday with a win at FC Cincinnati to move into third place in the Eastern Conference. The battle remains tight, however; only four points separate third and eighth place.
"It's really important," midfielder Keaton Parks said. "We had a bad stretch of games. Our team always wants to win, no matter where we are. We're a team who's very confident. We think we should win every game and we try to put our best foot forward and work hard to win every game, so losses hurt us. This win was big for us, especially heading into a week of two derbies. We're looking forward to bringing that momentum with us."
New York City haven't won a derby match at Red Bull Arena since 2017.
The Red Bulls (7-11-5, 26 points) are coming off a 4-0 win against Inter Miami on Friday, scoring more than two goals for the first time this season.
The clean sheet against Miami was their second in their past five matches. They've allowed more than one goal only once during those five games, a run they'll look to maintain against a New York City side that ranks tied for second in MLS with 43 goals scored.
The club sits nine points shy of the final playoff spot, with four teams to jump to get above the cut-off line.
"They are so, so hungry to win this game," coach Gerhard Struber said. "That's it, not more. And after this game, we prepare the next game, and this is on the weekend in the Yankee Stadium. But before, we have a big task. This is my big focus, not more."
The Red Bulls have won the last three meetings against New York City at Red Bull Arena and are 6-1-1 against their rival on their home pitch in eight all-time matchups.
--Field Level Media