Red Bulls Thoughts On Saturday's Derby Match

Jesse Marsch, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Aaron Long -- comments about their upcoming match against rival NYCFC:

Jesse Marsch

Gearing up for NYCFC derby match:

We always I think circle this on the calendar when we know we have the derby matches. I think that we may come early in the season; it’s a really good chance to see where you are at. If you go through the years, the first year, we played a hard game in the first one and then we’re a man down and had a great win in the second one, we had a 7-0 game and then the third one was an open cup that led into the league and we got a win and a loss and now, here we are in the fourth installment of the first part of the series, and I think it’s set up to be one of the best ones yet. I think NYC is a very good team, they will challenge a lot of the things that we do. It will be a scrappy game at times, because they are not just focused on with ball as much as they were, as they work hard against the ball, so it is a great combination for them to have and they have been very effective so far this season and it’s a chance for us to see exactly where we are at this point of the season and I feel like our team is in a good way and will be ready for a big game.

Bradley Wright-Phillips becoming a complete player and not always worried about scoring but helping the team win:

They both rather win than score [speaking about BWP and Villa], there is no doubt. One of the things that makes them special is it is not just the goal scoring its all the work they do to be real leaders for their team and to set the example. When you have your best player, your top striker, your superstar that is willing to do all the work that is the most humble that is the most committed to the team, my God does it make it easy for the head coach. In that sense, both myself and [Patrick] Vieira have a pretty simple job when we have superstars like that that do whatever we ask. It makes it fun and from an outsiders perspective I think the series has been Villa versus Wright-Phillips and many ways it will be like that again, but I think it is the job of both teams to put that player in position to succeed as many times as possible and which ever team manages to do that will most likely win.

Bradley Wright-Phillips

What it means to get ready for the NY Derby:

It is obviously a big match for everyone involved and the city of New York with bragging rights on the line and it is points we need, but I think I have been through this before growing up in England that Derby matches are massive and its no different.

The evolution of the NY Derby:

It has gotten bigger. I think the way we started and winning all the time it gave them some fire. Now, they are on top of the league right now. They have had two good seasons in a row and it is going to be tougher for us. Since it first started, it is definitely getting better and evening it out more, it is not one sided any more. It is good to be involved in it.

Aaron Long

Challenges that NYCFC present:

I think obviously they are having a great season and I think we are on a high as well after our win at LA. Very tough game, very tough team, very good attacking group, I feel like this will be similar to LA. They are scoring a lot of goals, it is going to be tough but so are we. I think it is going to be a clash of two titans, in a way, so we will see who comes out on top.

Experiencing the NY Derby as a player for the first time as opposed to watching from the stands:

The atmosphere is definitely different, you can tell it is a rivalry game. The whole week leading up to it is a little bit exciting, when you get to the stadium it is a different atmosphere for sure. I think everyone is a little bit on edge, but when the whistle blows it is a different feeling.

• The Red Bulls enter Saturday’s match looking to turn the tide back in their favor after losing their first New York Derby series to NYCFC, 0-2-1 last season. New York, however, did take the crucial Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against NYCFC, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena in 2017. Bradley Wright-Phillips has given NYCFC quite the headache over the past nine league matches, tallying a series-best 10 goals, which is also a career-best against one team.

• After scoring the first goal for the Red Bulls on Feb. 22 against CD Olimpia, Daniel Royer ended his league goal-drought with his first of the season against the Galaxy. Royer became the 10th different Red Bull to score in league play and 13th across all competitions. New York’s 13 different scorers across all competitions surpass last season’s total of 11.

• At 33-years old, Bradley Wright-Phillips seems to be getting better with age as he shifts from just a goal scorer to a dual threat. Wright-Phillips recorded his first career multi-assist league match against the Galaxy. The English striker has recorded five goals and four assists through seven league matches, which puts him tied for third in goals and tied for fourth in assists, respectively, in MLS. Wright-Phillips is just three assists shy of tying his 2015 career-best mark of seven.