NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls preview: The Round of 32 in the Leagues Cup

-NYCFC will play in the Leagues Cup Round of 32

-The team will play against the Red Bulls

-Check out the preview of the Hudson River Derby below

James Sands of NYCFC
James Sands of NYCFC / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, New York City FC will take on the New York Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby.  This will surely be an intense match, as every derby is game in and game out. This will also be the first derby between the two in the Leagues Cup.

NYCFC got to the Round of 32 due to the 5-0 win against Toronto FC.  This was entirely unexpected, and many did not think the Pigeons would even make it past the group round based on previous results.  However, the players found their goal-scoring boots, and as such, this led to a second-place finish, and a place in the next round.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls have been struggling similarly to the Pigeons.  In Major League Soccer, the team is in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference.  Both sides have 26 points too, so clearly 2023 has not been great for the New York area teams.  With that known, it is possible for NYCFC to win.  But the players need to be at their best, and they must score more goals.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the upcoming Leagues Cup game between NYCFC and the Red Bulls.

When is the match between New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls?

The match will take place on Thursday, August 3, at 8:00 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Harrison, NJ at Red Bull Arena.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

Fans can catch NYCFC on Apple TV via the MLS Season Pass.  The match will be available for free.

What can New York City FC expect from New York?

New York City FC can expect a New York Red Bulls team that will be an obstacle to making the Round of 16.  As mentioned, both are struggling this year, but the Pigeons tend to struggle at Red Bull Arena when they are the visitors.  In fact, the home team already beat them in 2023.

Moreover, the New Jersey team also finds goals as hard to come by.  Frankie Amaya leads with four goals in the regular season, but no player is a threat.  In some ways, that can make life difficult for NYCFC, for the defense will have to focus on everyone.  It does not help that the goals are spread out, so the Pigeons will need to be a very compact Pigeon Flock to protect their goal.

There are unknowns going into this match.  But if NYCFC wants to move on, then they must ensure they score more goals than their rival. 

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

NYCFC supporters should watch Mounsef Bakrar.  The Algerian recently had his first start against Toronto FC.  He played extremely well and already scored his first goal for the Pigeons.  He made himself available and made runs that were missing most of the season.  He also was not afraid to roam, similar to Talles Magno, and even put a few balls into the box.

Fans should watch to see whether he has another solid match.  The Red Bulls will be a harder opponent, so if the new player can help lead NYCFC to a win, then he will continue to enter the hearts of supporters.

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

It might be the Toronto game and the recent signings, but positivity is alive and well.  There is the belief that New York City FC could possibly turn the season around.

Hence, the prediction is that the Pigeons will win, 3-1.  Bakrar will score again, and the team will dominate throughout most of the match.  The defense will mostly be stellar, with an exception of a silly mistake goal that will be allowed.

When all is said and done, this might be too positive of a prediction.  New York City FC could play poorly or resume their goal-scoring struggles.  Alas, being positive is better for the heart, so why not believe another win is on the horizon?